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71 Tayler, Alistair Norwich, 1870- 
.D855 rp]jg ]jqq]j Qf ^ljg Duffs ; comp. by Alistair and Henrietta 

^^■'■^ Tayler ... Edinburgh, W. Brown, 1914. 

2 V. fronts., illus., ports., map, facsim., fold, geneal. tables. 26"'. 
Title vignette (coat of arms) 



1 Puff family. i. Tayler, Helen Agnes Henrietta, 1869- joint 

autK5fr~5H«Pit%. 2, Gordon faia. 3.Urqiihart fan. 

{' 15-1476 

Library of Congress CS479.D75 











As long ago as the year 1889 it was pointed out, in the pages of the 
Genealogist, that there existed no proper liistory of the Duff family in 
ancient times. 

Again, in subsequent years, the present writers have frequently been 
asked by members of this large and scattered family to compile an account 
of ' the nineteenth century Duffs,' showing their connections with each 

It was determined to combine the two objects, and while providing 
a record of a long-lived and energetic family from the earliest days, to 
collect at the same time, from all possible sources, printed and otherwise, 
interesting details of what may be called the ' mediaeval ' and modern 
members, and to bring the history of the family and the genealogical 
tables thoroughly up to date. 

The present volume, therefore, aims at providing a record, complete 
as far as possible, of those Scotsmen who have borne, and now bear, the 
name of Duff, giving the legendary lore connected with this family 
(even though some of it may be discredited by modern historians), as well 
as a full personal history of those Duffs who have distinguished themselves 
in any way (and brief mention of the others), with their intermarriages 
and tiicir matrimonial connections with other families. 

The only attempt previously made at anything of the kind is the 
Memoirs of the Duffs, written about the year 1770, by William Baird of 
Auchmedden (whose wife was one of the daughters of 'William Duff of 
Dipple), and privately printed in 1869 by Major Lachlan Gordon Duff 
of Drummuir.^ 

Several original manuscripts of this work exist. One, belonging to 

' Ccncaloi;ical l^Ieinoirs of tlie Duffs. Printed for private circulation. D. Wyllio and Son, 
Aberdeen, 18G9. 



Miss Fyffc Duff of Corsindae, bears date September 21, 1772, wliieh pre- 
sumably was the dale of tlic completion of one portion, as some births 
and deaths, cte., connected with the famiUes dealt with, occurring in 
1773, are recorded. William Baird himself died in 1775. 

Baird's original manuscripts contain frequent blanks for names both 
of persons and of places, and there are many inaccurate statements and 
conjectures, due doubtless to enforced reliance upon hearsay evidence, to 
the difficulty of communications, and the impossibihty at that period 
of verifying references and dates, or obtaining access to original 

■When we consider the expenditure of time and energy involved, 
even now, in correspondence with outlying members of the family, 
and in research in public offices at home and abroad, we are filled with 
admiration for the courage and energy displayed, and the large amount 
of information collected by our forerunner, a hundred and forty 
years ago. 

For permission to make copious extracts from this chronicle we are 
indebted to Thomas Gordon Duff, son of the original editor, among whose 
papers is also preserved a schedule of questions sent by William Baird to 
various members of the family, showing the meagre response he sometimes 

The arrangement of the first few chapters of the present history 
explains itself, as it is purely chronological. After that, it has been 
found best to carry the elder line down to the present day, and then 
revert to the younger sons, in order. It is hoped that the full genealogical 
tables and the smaller key tables will make this plain. 

After tracing the descendants of John of Muldavit and his son, Adam of 
Clunybcg, in over twenty separate lines of descent,^ the later chapters 
tical with other branches of the Duff family (wliieh it has been found 
impossible to correlate with the IMuldavit stock), and with one or two 
other families with which the Duffs have intermarried so frequently as 
to make some account necessary. 

Other sources, besides Baird, which have been found of great value, are 
the family trees preserved in various branches of the family, old family 

1 The chart of tliese will be found at end of Volume I. 


papers, letters and manuscrij)t records, wherever existing and obtain- 
able, tiic Decennial List ol' Heirs for Scotland, parish and local registers,^ 
and records of every kind, in London and Edinburgh, as well as all over 
the United Kingdom. 

Innumerable histories of other families, and historical and genealogical 
collections of every sort have been laid under contribution ; wills, records 
of sasines, hornings, deeds and decreets, commissariat records, school 
chronicles, files of old newspapers, everything which might yield the smallest 
scrap of information, lias been consulted, and the writers would further 
like to place on record their debt to the personal recollections and traditional 
information of several old friends in every walk of life, some of whom have, 
unfortunately, not lived to see the appearance of the book. 

'All which doth require 

]5riareus his hundred hands, 
Argus his hundred eyes, 
And Nestor's century of years to marshal.' 

This volume represents the results of many years of congenial labour, 
in which the writers have received valuable assistance from relations and 
friends almost too numerous to mention. 

Special thanks are due to : 

H.R.II. the Princess Royal and Her Highness the Duchess of Fife, 
Princess Arthur of Connaught, for permission to examine and print selec- 
tions from the documents long preserved at Duff House, and now in the 

' Though these do not invariably give all details, for, as is well known, the parish registers 
in Scotland suffered, like everything else, from the wars and tumults. Those in the Episcopal 
Church in Banff stop abruptly in 17.16, when Cumberland on his way to CuUodcn burnt the 
clinich, and, it is said, carried off Ihe books. While those in Brccliin suffered a century earlier, 
as IS then noted by llie clerk : 

' In the month of March 1C45, the scrolls were lying in the book, but the book being taken 
by tlic cruel cnemie, the scrolls were lost and leaves ryven out of the book, as evidentlie appears.' 
And two months later, he notes : ' There, six or seven leaves following, being clean paper, were 
cutt out be som of Montrose followers.' 

And file parish clerk of Inverness protects himself from the charge of inaccuracy by the 
following entry : 

■ If there be any blanks here, know that it is not the fault of the clerk, but such as did not 
I'.iy their christening money.' 

One i)( these reasons must account for the fact that exhaustive search has failed to dis- 
cover any record of the baptisms o( the^ children of Patrick Dulf o( Craigston ('/.f .), 
except those of his eldest son and eldest daughter, chronicled at Grange. 

ii^tmatt'a (' 

il.Mi i\>"i'i- 


charter room at Montcoffcr,' and for pcrniission to reproduce ten family 

To Her Highness Princess Maud, for the loan of the portrait of her 
father, her sister, and herself. 

To the Duke of Richmond and Gordon and the Earl of Seafield, for 
permission to make extracts from their charter chests. 

To Thomas Gordon Duff of Drummuir, for the unrestricted use of all 
his family pajDers, dating from the sixteenth century downwards, without 
which some chapters of this history could never have been written. 

To Mrs. Chancellor and J. Wharton Duff, for permission to use the 
large collection of family letters at Orton, from which a great part of the 
personal history of Lord Braeo's family has been reconstructed. To Mrs. 
Chancellor also for kindly supplying photographs of the family portraits 
in her possession. 

To Edward Gordon Duff, for the loan of the Rose MSS. now in his 

To Edward Alexander Duff, for the use of all his papers, and permis- 
sion to reproduce two portraits and the facsimile letter in chapter xvii. 

To Garden Alexander Duff of Hatton for the loan of documents, etc. 

To General Sir Beauchamp Duff, G.C.B., for an invaluable list, pre- 
pared for us from official sources, of all Duffs who have served in the 
Army * or Navy, and for his kindly criticism and help on many points, 
particularly wherever in our history we have touched on military 

To Walter B. Blaikie, LL.D., for expert assistance and advice in the 

1 In the Historical Manuscripts Commission these papers are thus noted : 

' The extensive scries of documents in the charter room at Dud House were scheduled in 
1872, the entries numbering over looo. They consist wholly of the title-deeds and relative 
papers of the vast estates belonging to Lord Fife in the countries of Banff, Moray, and Aber- 
deen, and none of them call for detailed description.' 

Besides these there are also innumerable family letters. 

• William Rose was long factor to the second Earl Fife, and in that capacity a great deal of 
very interesting correspondence was addressed to him. He also became possessed of many 
other family letters and papers, and amassed, on his own behalf, a large collection of genea- 
logical and other notes. All these were left untouched at his death and long aftervvards, but 
were cvcntuully scattered, Mr. Edward Gordon Duff of Liverpool purchasing the greater 
part, while some were acquired for the Spalding Club, but were never utilised. 

' Since 1755 over a hundred men of the name of Dult have held commissions in the British 

-7?.rjr,q '>• 


To II. Inglis Lindscay, W.S., for his unwearied kindness and energy in 
undertaking researclies in Edinbiirgli. 

To William Maclntosli, Fife Estates Office, for much help in dealing 
with matters regarding the Earls Fife. 

To the Hon. Henry Ilannen, for Iielp in the elucidation of obsolete 
words and phrases. 

To J. Malcolm Bulloch, for useful advice as to the sources to consult, 
and for much information. 

To the Rev. Stephen Ree, for various important notes supplied. 

To James Grant, LL.B., for permission to make use of the books in 

To the authorities of the Advocates' Library, the Public Library, and 
the University Library, Aberdeen, for permission to examine manuscripts 
in their hands. 

To the authorities of the office of the Lord Lyon, of the Advocates' 
Library, and of the Signet Library, Edinburgh, for similar permissions. 

To the officials of the India Office, Record Office, Somerset House, 
College of Arms, and the British Museum Library and Manuscript Room. 

And to the following relatives and friends for the loan of letters and 
pictures, and for information and corrections connected with their own 
branches of the family : 

Mrs. Darwin of Muiitown and Colonel A. R. Warrand ; Lady Duff and the 
Misses Duff of Fetteresso ; Major Adrian Grant Duff, C.B. ; the late General 
A. G. Duff ; Miss Fyffe Duff of Corsindae ; Miss Jane Clerk Duff ; Major- 
Gcneral R. W. Duff ; Adam Gordon Duff ; Mrs. Duff Dunbar ; Miss Marjory 
Kate Duff ; Miss Louisa Duff ; Professor Archibald Duff ; John Duff, Dublin ; 
Mrs. Petre and Captain Granville Duff ; Miss Mary Ramsay ; Colonel Sir 
Aubone Fife ; George Duff, Towiemore ; Stanley Duff JIuttlebury. 

Thanks are also due to the late William Craniond, LL.D. ; the late Alex- 
ander Ramsay, LL.D. ; David Littlejohn, LL.D. j Mr. J. A. Henderson ; and 
to Frances Cathcart, Annie Clark, and John Wyatt. 


EniNBURQH, December 29, 1913. 


In order to differentiate the family letters, 
drawn from various sources, they are 
marked thus : 

Letters from the Duff House papers, now 
at Montcoffer, .... C^^)- 

Letters from the Rose MSS., in the collec- 
tion of Mr. E. G. Duff, . . {R-)- 

Letters from the Orton papers, . (0.). 

Letters from other sources are acknowledged 
in full. 





11. DUFFS OF MULDAVIT, . . . . .12 


V. alexjVnder duff of KEITHMORE, . . .51 






EARL FIFE, ...... 127 






XV. THE DUKE OF FIFE, ..... 223 

XVI. DUFFS OF HATTON, ..... 227 


XVI 1 1. DUFFS OF MA YEN, ..... 273 



T ,«7tiu a.osio3U> kiavulO .nv>c 











XXVI. MUIRTOWN FAMILY, . . . . • 407 







GRANT DUFFS, ..... 491 









INDEX ....... 595 



1. ADAM DUFF OF CLUNYBEG, Frontispiece 

From the picture by Gerard van Honthorst. Iu the |)os.-,c-,.-,ii)ii oC 
H.R.H. the Princess Royal. The date is a later addition, by the same 
hand which touched up a good many of the Duff House pictures. 


From a picture erroneously ascribed to Jamksone, really painted 
about 1600, as is shown by the costume. In the possession of 
H.R.H. the Princess Royal. 


OF MULDAN'IT, ........ 22 

With inscription on the background also obviously a later addition, 
as the date of picture is about IGOO, before Jamesone's day. It 
is, moreover, not in his style. In the possession of II.R.H. the 
Princess Royal. 

Picture in possession of present writers. Artist unknown. 


In tlio possession of H.R.H. the Princess Royal. Artist unknown. 

0. ALEXANDER DUFF OF BRACO, . . . . „ 72 

By Jonathan RicnAunsoN. In the possession of H.R.H. the 
Princess Royal. 

7. WILLIAM DUFF OF DIPPLE, ....... 00 

ByWissiNo. In the possession of H.R.H. the Princess Royal. The; 
date also a later addition by the same hand which added those to 
the pictures above mentioned. 


By Sir Godi-rky Kni;i.i,ku. In the possession of II.R.H. the 
Princess Royal. 


Ry ^VIU,IAM Smrni. In the possession of ftlrs. Chiincollor. 



IJy W^ii.LiAM .Smitii. In the possession of Mrs. Cli.iiicoUor. 

11. ARTHUR DUFF OF ORTON, . . . . „ 1G4 

By George Watso.v. In the possession of Mrs. Chancellor. 

12. JAMES DUFF, SECOND EARL FIFE, . . . . ,, 180 

Uy FitA.vcis CuTEs. In the possession of .Mrs. Chancellor. 


By G. Pope, hi the possession of the present writers. 

14. JAMES DUFF, FOURTH EARL FIFE, . . . „ 206 

By Sib Henry Raeburn. In the possession of Mrs. Chancellor. 


From engraving by Zouei,, after Ciiatelain. lu the possession of 
the present writers. 


From engraving by G. R. Ward, after Sir Francis Grant. In 
the possession of the present writers. 


CONNAUGHT, ........ 226 

Photograph by Lallie 

18. JAMES DUFF OF BANFF (Jacobite), ,,240 

From the picture now in the possession of Adam Gordon Duff, 76 
Chester Sciunre. Artist unknown. 



By IIuou Rivii:re. Now at Hatton. 

20. GENERAL SIR BEAUCHAMP DUFF, G.C.B., . . . „ 264 

Photograph by Mauix and Fo.\. 


In the po.ssessiou of E. A. J. Duff, 22 Oushiw Gardens, S.AV. 

22. CAITAIN GEORGE DUFF, R.N., . . . . . „ 266 

By Sir He.mhy Raeuurn. In the possession of E. A. J. Duff. 


By Sir Henry Raeiiuun. In the possession of E. A. J. Duff. 


By William .Mossman. lu the possession of II.R.II. the Princess 







Photograph by Downey. 

20. ADMIRAL ROBERT DUFF, R.N., Tofacep.S^2 

By Shi Joshua REYNOLns. Painted for Greenwich Hospital. Of this 
picture there are four replicas— one in the United Service Institu- 
tion ; one now at Fetteresso ; one in the possession of II.R.H. the 
Princess Royal ; and one at Hatton Castle. 


By Sir Hk.nry Raeburn. At Fetteresso. 


By Sir Henry Raebuhn. From a photograph of .1 picture sold 
from Fetteresso. 


By GixiUGK Jamksdne. lu the possession of II.R.H. the Princess 


By Cosmo Alexa-miku. Picture at Corsiudae, and replicas in the 
possession of II.R.H. the Princess Royal and Arthur C. Grant Duff. 


From the picture at Drummuir. 


From the picture at Drummuir. 

33. JOHN DUFF OF DRUMMUIR. (Dressed as Hamlet), . . „ 396 

By Angelica Kali i'siann. At Drummuir. 


From the picture at Muirtown. 


By W. K. Keeling. In the possession of II.R.H. the Princess 

:ii;. GEMERAL PATRICK DUFF ('TIGER'), . „ 484 

By Gkougk Romney. In the possession of Miss iMary Ramsay, 


.07. Sill MOriNTSTnAKT K. fillANT 1)1)1''!'', O.C.S.I., . 

rii()l()f,'r,i|ilj liy I'li.t.KiTr ANi) l''iiv. 

By William Smith. In the possession of Mrs. Chancellor. 


By Tho.mas Duncan. In the possession of Mrs. Chancellor. 

Tofnrep. 498 




CHIEFLY RESIDED, . . . . . at end of Volume IT. 




SiiiKi.n OP TiiK Anciknt Earls op Fife, 


Alexandkii Duff op Keitiimoiie, 

. 51 

Helen Grant, ..... 

. 61 

BiiAco House, ...... 

, 63 

Balvenie Castle, .... 

. 74 

Duff House, ..... 

. 108 

RoTiiiKMAY House, . . . . 

. 127 

Innes House, ..... 

. IGO 

.Skene House, ..... 

. 191 

Caiieston, ..... 

. 204 

Deloaty Castle, .... 

. 215 

Coat Aiimouial op the Earls Fife, 

. 223 

C'raigston Castle, .... 

. 227 

Town House in Banff of Mrs. Duff of Hatton, 

. 246 

IIatton Castle, ..... 

. 260 

CuLTEU House, ..... 

. 281 .tn 


Fetterksso Castle, 



E 11 


. 309 



. 328 

PiiovosT ^VlLLIAU Duff, 

. 354 


. 389 

MuiRTOWN House, 

. 407 

Ei^m Cathedral, 

. 442 

Old House op Caiinousie, 

. 46G 

Dorothea Hay, Mrs. ' Tiger ' 


. 480 


. 491 

Orton House, 

. 602 

Sir James Duff op Kinstair, 

. 606 

Park House, 

. 653 


. 662 

Arms op Alexander Duff of 



. 564 



Ancient EARr,s of Fikk, 

Muldavit Family, 

' Mr. ' John Duff's Family, 

Adam Duff of Ci.uNYnKii's Descendants, 

AiiEuciiOMnY Family, 

Hatton Family, .... 

.Mavkn Family, .... 

riiiNLiPAL Surviving Lines of Descent from Adam Duff of Clunyiieo 



. 29 
■38, 60 
. 102 
227, 257, 258, 269 
. 273 
, nt end of Volume I. 

,wuCr 'ajMiT* 




Fetteresso Famh.v, 

CoHsiNDAE Family, 

ToiiiiiEsouL Family, 

DuuMMuiii Family, 

MuiHTOWN Family, 

Duffs of Chombie and Duff-Gordons, . 

GEonoE Duff of Edindiach's Descendants, 

Duffs of Hillockuead, . 

Duffs op Lisbon, .... 

Duffs in Elgin, .... 

Duffs of Bade and Caiknwiielp, 

Carnousie Family, 

Gordons of Fauskane, 

Grant Duffs, .... 

Wharton Duffs, 

Sir James Duff op Kinstair's Descendants, 

Macduffs of Boniiaud, . 

Perthshire Duffs, 

Gordons op Park, 

Urquhauts, .... 




. 327 

329, 334 

. 339 

. 3C5 

. 407 

414, 416 

. 427 

. 431 

. 441 

. 443 

. 453 

. 4G7 

. 493 

. 49G 

. 502 

. 507 

. 545 

. 550 

. 659 

. 6G0 

. 5C3 

,!T -trt'is^c:!!! •■ K- 


ciiiUG .'^TIT 



The Duff family claims an origin veiled in the mists of antiquity, and 
there are preserved many and curious old family trees, some even going 
back to the days of Darius the Mede ; but perhaps those trees starting 
from the ninth century, with the first thanes of Fife, take us as far as 
we need seek to penetrate. 

The first mention of Fife is in the verses ascribed to St. Columba,^ 
wherein the seven great sons of Cruthne are given as Fib, Fidach, etc., 
and Fib, of course, is the same as Fife. 

Again, Fibh, or Fiv, was one of the seven provinces into which Scotland 
was divided before the thirteenth century, and the first of the fourteen 
Pictisli tribes, that called C!inid, occupied this province which later became 
the carklom and county of Fife- 

Until quite recently, Burke's Peerage Avas wont to state that ' the noble 
family of Duff derives from Fyfe Maedufl', a chief of great wealth and 
power, who lived about the year 834, and afforded to Kenneth ii., King 
of Scotland, strong aid against his enemies the Picts.' An old MS. at 
Drummuir calls him ' Fife Duff, a royal young man, cousin-german of 
Kenneth the Second, and one of his generals, and in tlie year 838 is made 
■ Thane.' 

Another version, which has the authority of Hector Boece, first Princi- 
l)al of Aberdeen University,* gives the name of the hero as Fifus Duffus, 
aiul says that he was granted the county of Otholenia as a reward for his 

Piilisli Chronicle, translated by Pinkerlon. 
History ol Scolland, published 1526. 

Skene's Highlanders oj Scotland. 

I ,,r .v!m;,.?^j- 


Horvlccs, luid lliiit this hooimc tlic kingdom of Fife {I\Iacfarl((vc.i Grnen- 
luiiical Collections).^ 

Yet another legend ascribes tlie origin of the family to Duff (or Uubh, 
the Blaek) son of Maleolm i., King of Seotland, who succeeded to the throne 
in 9G2, liaving first defeated Colin, son of Indulph, the last king. Subse- 
quently Colin defeated King Duff, who was murdered by a band of assassins, 
hired by Donald, Governor of Forres, at the castle of Forres, and his body 
was hidden under a bridge at Kinloss, tradition stating that the sun did 
not shine again until the body had been found and buried. Skene, in his 
Celtic Scotland, suggests that the eclipse of the sun on July 10, 9G7, origin- 
ated (or confirmed) this story. The elder son of King Dui'f was Kenneth iii., 
and the younger became McDuff, first Thane of Fife, from whom an un- 
broken line of thanes and earls would bring us to the Countess Isabel, 
died 1389, ' of whom ]>resently.' 

The more usual form of the legend, not, of course, incompatible with 
the two first already mentioned, makes the first authentic ancestor to be 
IMaeduff, the eighth Thane of Fife, who married Beatrice Banquo, daugliter 
of the Thane of Loehaber, about 1040.^ 

This, of course, is the ' dear Duff ' of Shakesjicare {Macbeth, act ii. sc. 3), 
and the Makduf of John of Fordun's Scotichronicon (book v.), and Andrew 
dc Wyntoun's Chronicles (book v. chapter xviii.), and the hero of the little 
burgli of Earlsferry in Fife.^ 

lie is thus described by John of Fordun : 

' Macduff Thanus de Fyfe, qui eautius ceteris atque diutius ineognitum 
animi cclavit propositum,' which phrase is thus translated : ' Macduff, 

' But, according to Pinkerton, the name of the hero was Odo, and he was called Dubh, or 
Black, by the Celtic part of his subjects, the soubriquet descending to his family. 

' Though eight thanes of I^'ifc in two hundred years seems a large number even for those 
troublous and bloodthirsty times. Moreoxer, Skene in his Celtic Scotland says there never were 
any thanes of Fife, thane being a Saxon title. 

'Iho seven thanes after ' Fife Duff ' (sic) are thus given in the Drummuir MS. : 

' UiiK Mc Duff, a man like unto his fallicr, who was kill('<l fighting against the Danes. 
Filgaous, that is the warlike Fife. 

Dufaganus, that is the Little Duff, " a man little in body but great in virtue." 
Colbanus, that is the while Prince or Thane. "lie did not degenerate from his ancestors." 
Malcolm, dyed in the year 918. 

Constantine his son and heir did govern that province of Fife and dyed in the tyme of King 

Duncan the first, that mild king who was barbarously murdered by Mc Beth the Tyran. 

Duncan the first, called the great Macduff, a man beyond all praise, who killed Macbeth 

and settled Malcolm on the throne of his predecessors.' 

' ' South of this upon the sea is Earls ferry, a little Fisher town which, as is said, McDuff, 

Earl of Fife, got erected into a royal liurgh because tlie Fishers here transported him over the 

Firth when he made his escape from Macbeth. They are said to have only 3 fishing boats ' 

(Sibbald's Nalunil History of Fife and Kinross, 1710). 


hIio kept the unknown purpose of his heart (which was inimical to Mac- 
beth) hidden longer and more carefully than tlie others.' 

This extreme caution may be held to have lx:en inherited by some of 
his descendants. 

Modem Scottish critics, such as Dr. Skene in his edition of Fordun's 
Chronicles, and Robertson in his Scotland under her Early Kings, now throw 
floubt on the very existence of Macduff, treating him as an invention of 
Fordun, and they, moreover, seek to whitewash the grim Macbeth, who is 
held to have had a ' tanistie ' * right to the throne of Scotland. 

Andrew Lang's History of Scotland, chapter iii., sets forth clearly how 
Malcolm ii. himself was by some looked on as a usurper, and Lulach, son 
of Gruach (othenvTse Lady Macbeth) was considered to have a better right 
to the throne than Duncan (grandson of Malcolm ii., and father of Mal- 
colm III.), who was ' assassinated ' by Macbeth, Maormor of Moray, the 
guardian of Lulach, Macbeth then reigning for nine years. The murder 
bv Macbeth is stated, in the register of St. Andrews, to have taken place 
at Bothgowanan (the smith's house), supposed to be near the village of 
Auldearn, and not at Cawdor Casile. Lang does not mention Macduff. 

Skene says : ' I consider Fordun to be wholly responsible for the ingeni- 
ouslv imagined inter\'iew of ilacduff with Malcolm, and am also inclined 
to credit him with the entire invention of Macduff Thane of Fife, and the 
part which he plays in the reigns of Macbeth and Malcolm ' (Note in his 
edition of Fordun Historians of Scotland).^ 

Early Scottish histon,- has not, as yet, been quite finally remodelled to 
exclude the old legends, and though Sir James Balfour Paul in his new 
Scots Peerage, and the \\Titer in the Dictionary of National Biography, both 
speak of Macduff as a mj-thical character, the present wTiters, with the 
tacit support of Professor David Laing, continue to believe in the existence 
of this attractive personage and possible ancestor, who, according to John 
of Fordun, was mainly instrumental in placing Malcolm on the throne 

' Tanistry : from Gaelic Tajm, a chid, was the Cdtic system of succession, whereby the king 
or chief of the clan was the ab!e=t male of the family in his generation, not necessarily the eldest. 

- Other critics have advanced the theory that Fordun's Ckror.icle itself was a fotgery of 
post-reformation times, but in any case it is not nsoally held to be possible that Andrew de 
Wynton, writing about 1420, could have copied from him, and his account of Macdnfi is at least 
as detailed as that of Fordun, occupying ten pages in Laing 's edition. Historians of ScoHand. 
1 1 15 true that nothing is known personally of the writer called John of Fordun, save the tata- 
•!iuon as to the date of his death, bnt this alone could not serve to annihilate the claim of his 
work to aatbcnticity. The Ion; account of the conversation between M a lcol m and >facdaff, 
to which, through the medium of Boece and HoDinshcd, Shakespeare was so much indebted, 
ij, of course, a fiction, though possibly founded on a traditional fact, and even such writers as 
Xcooplion and Thucydi<Ics have used this method of giving life to authentic ciironidcs, nor 
Icro thereby discredited. 


which had been usurpod by Macbctli/ or, as he is called in the Latin 
Chronicles, ' Maccabeus.' - 

According, then, to legendary history, Macduff defeated Macbeth at 
the battle of Lumphanan, 1056, and in reward Malcolm, King of Scotland, 
bestowed upon him the following privileges (Andrew de Wynton, book vi. 
chapter xix.) : 

1. That he should be created Earl of Fife, and that he and his succes- 
sors as Lords of Fife should have the right of placing the kings of Scotland 
on the throne at their coronation. This right, and also tliat of crowning 
the king, was exercised by Isabel Duff, Countess of Buchan, who crowned 
King Robert Bruce in 1306, and was in consequence imprisoned by the 
Ij^nglish Edward in a cage (or dungeon so-called) at Berwick Castle, for three 

2. That he and his successors should lead the van of the Scots army 
whenever the royal banner was displayed. 

3. That if he or any of his kindred ' committed slaughter of suddenty ' ' 
they should have peculiar sanctuary and obtain remission on payment 
of an atonement in money. (Some versions of the legend limit this right 
of sanctuary to the waters of the Firth of Forth between Macduff's own 
burgh of Earlsferry (Elie) and the Haddington coast, and say that if 
any fugitive embarked from the Fifcshire coast, the pursuers were not 
allowed to start until the boat was half-way across the Firth.) 

These privileges must be quoted in Wyntoun's '' oAvn words : 

' Quken Makbeth Fynlayk thus wes slane 
Offe FyflTe Makiluff that tyme the Thane 
For his traivaille till his bouiite 
At Malcolme as Kyiig askyd these tlire: 

I. Fyrst, till hys sctc fra tiie awtarc'' 
Tliat he sulde be the Kynge's ledare 
And in that set, thare set hyni downe 
Till take his Coroiiatyowne, 

' From tlie old Irish Peerage : 

' The family of Duff or Macduf is of great antiquity in Scotland. Macduff Thane of Vile, 
one of the most powerful subjects in Scotland, excited a formidable revolt against the usurper 
Macbeth in the year 1056, which terminated iu the defeat and death of ftfacbeth at Lunfanan 
in Aberdeenshire 5 Dec. and the restoration of King Malcolm iii. to the throne of his 
ancestors. In reward Malcolm created him Earl of Fife, and bestowed on him many privi- 
leges to be enjoyed by himself and his succes.sors. By the forfeiture of Murdoc D. of Albus 
1425 the title of Earl of Fife was vested in the Crown until it was revived in the person of 
William Duff, Lord Braco of Kilbryde." 

' There was a Machabcus Duff in Cullcn in 13.12. 

' Lord Hailes' Annals 0/ Scotland, 1776. •■ Andro de Wyntoun, 2350-1422. 

» Altar. 



For liym and liys jiosteryle 
(^iilicii-cvyrc Llic Kyni;' siilil crowiiyd he. 

~. J'^fTtyre that, the secouiid thyiig 
Wes, that he askyd at the Kyiig 
Till halve tlie waward ' oft' hys bataylle 
Qwhat-evyr thai ware, wold it assaylle 
That he and hys suld haive always 
(Jidieii that the Kyng sidd hanare ^ rays 
Or, gyfl" the Thane oiY I'ylY in were ' 
Or in till ost^ wyth his powcre 
Ware, the waward suld governyd be 
He hyni and his posterytc. 

3. Eli'tyre this, the thryd askyng 
That he askyt at tiie Kyng, 
Gyve ony be suddane chawdmelle^ 
Hapnyd swa slayne to be 
He ony off the Thaynys kyne 
Off Fyff the kynryk ^ all wyth-in 
Gyve he swa slayne were gentill-nian 
Four and twenty niarkys than 
F'or a yhwman ^ twelf niarkys ay 
The slaare suld for kynbwt ^ P-'^J') 
And haive full remyssyone 
Fra thin for all that actyowne. 
Gyve ony hapyd hyni to sla 
That to tiiat lawch " were bwndyn swa 
Off that privylage evyrmare 
Parties'" suld be the slaare 
Off this lawcli are thre capytalc 
That is the Blak Prest off VVeddale 
The Thayne off Fyffe, and the thryd syne 
Quha ewyre be Lord off Abbyrnethyne.' 

Tlie existence of some special privileges is authenticated by the fact 
that in the Acts of the Scots Parliament of 1384, the Karl of Fife agrees to 
cause the new laws to be observed in his cajiacity as |)rincipnl of the Law 
of Clan Macduff {capUalis Icg'is dc Clan viDiiJJi). — Skene. 

' 'J'iic King alsii giantcd lliaL to the Clan Macduff Lherc should be perpetual 
ngaJity, that is, that they should have the power of creating any persons in 
I heir tribe magistrates, or of appointing judges for administering the law in 
any action whatever, excepting the crime of Icse majcstij, and of recalling from 

' Van. 2 Banner. ' War. « Battle. 

° Brawl. • King's power or jurisdiction. ' Yeoman. 

' Compensation for slaughter of kindred. » Law. '" Having no part. 


n!iy piirls of tlie kingdom any one ot the Clan Jlacduff, or of their cnnnl.ry, who 
might be callcil in juilynient, to tlicir own jndf^cs ' (MS. History ot Maclvintoshes, 
quoted by IMacfarlane in his Genealogical Collections}. 

In 1421, Jolinson, as Stewart in Fife, received three gentlemen who had 
been conecrned in the slaugliter of Melvil of Glcnbcrvy, to the Lach of Clan 
Macduff 1 (Maepherson's Notes to Sixth Book, Andro dc Wyntoun's 

The right of peculiar sanctuary is also sometimes associated with 
Macduff's Cross, near Ncwburgh, of which only ruins now remain. Sibbald 
gives an account of this cross, with the Latin inscription said to have been 
on it, and a rhyming paraphrase of the same, adding, ' If this be not a 
true account, it is at least ingenious and well invented.' 

Sir John Skene, in his Dc J'erborum Significatione, says : ' Gif ony man 
slayes, being within the ninth degree o'bluid to Maeduffe, repair to the Cross, 
an' there declare his kinship,' at the same time presenting Blacduff - with 
nine cows ' an' ane colpendach ' (a year-old cow), he was, after washing him- 
self in a well near by, declared free ' O' ony sudden chawdmcllc,' and could 
not again be tried. In every instance the person claiming the protection 
of Macduff's law^ had to prove consanguinity or be immediately slain. 

In the year 1390, Sir Alexander de Ogilvy was summoned to appear 
before the Earl of Strathearn's Court, ' holden ' at Fowlis, on Decem- 
ber 9, to show cause why he ' spilt the bluid of William de Spaldcn." 
Sir Bernard de Hadden (an ancestor of Lord Haldane) appeared on Sir 
Alexander's behalf, and pleaded that, as Sir Alexander had stood IMacduff's 
law, he could not be again tried. The defence was successful, and Sir 
Alexander got off without pain or penalties. 

This early liistory is a most fascinating subject, but as it has, in truth, 
very little to do with the Duffs, we must pass on. 

Macduff, eighth Thane of Fife, according to legend, thus became, in 
1057, the first Karl. 

His son DuFFAGAN, the second Earl, was, according to Sir James 
Dalrymple's Historical Collections, witness to a charter granted by King 
Alexander i. to Trinity Church at Scone, 1115. According to the Drum- 

' The Clan Macduff is therefore sometimes said to be the oldest of the Scottish Clans, 
and as such is mentioned in one of the Irish genealogical 1\ISS. Book of Leinster (Skene's Celtic 
Scotland), although, of course, the Duffs were never, strictly speaking, Highlanders at all, and 
had no habitation within the Highland line (as drawn by Skene) until after 1715, when some 
of them established themselves in the forfeited estates of the Earls of Mar. 

(Those who carried on their business in the town of Inverness in the seventeenth century 
scarcely form an exccjiliun.) 

^ He does not e.'cplain how this was tu be dune. 


miiir MS. he was bviriccl, like his father, in the ' royall buriall place at 
DuiiircriiilinfT.' ' 

The tliinl I'larl was Constantine, died 1127. He was witness to a 
charter of tlie iMonastcry of Dunfermline.^ 

GiLLMiciiAEL, the fourth Earl, appears as a witness to the Founda- 
tion Charter of Holyrood Abbey in 1128, and to several other charters 
of David i. In King David's Confirmation Charter to Dunfermline he 
appears as Gillemichael Macduf. He died 1139. 

His eldest son was Duncan, the fifth Earl, also frequently employed as 
a witness by David i. and Malcolm iv. He died 1154, after having assisted 
in 1153 at the coronation of King IMalcolm iv., to whom he had been tutor. 

The second son of Gillmichacl was Hugh or Hugo, ancestor of the Earl 
of Wcmyss, who may be said to be the only thoroughly authenticated living 
representative of the ancient Thanes of Fife, and bears the ancient arms 
of the Fifes, ' the Scottish Lyon red and rampant upon a golden shield.' 

According to Andrew dc Wyntoun (the chronicler who devoted so much 
space to the first Macduff), Duncan, fifth Earl of Fife, was appointed 
Regent of Scotland during the minority of IMalcolm iv. From otlier 
younger sons of Gillmichacl are said to be descended other branches of 
the Duff family, but this statement is also made with regard to the yovmger 

' But tliere is also a memorandum of a donation to tho Culdees of Loch Lev'en by Ethel- 
drcd, son of Malcolm, King of Scotland, Abbot of Dunkeld and Had of Fife, of the same date, 
'llie authenticity of this donation has been questioned, and the possibiUty of its being a fabrica- 
tion of later date is suggested by the fact that the names of Etheldred's two brothers, David 
and Alexander, are given in the wrong order, Alexander being in reality the elder. It is this 
donation which is used by those who wish to disprove the existence of Macduff the Thane and 
first Earl of Fife, and the Scols Peerage gives Etheldred as the first earl. The king's son 
may, of course, have held the title of earl while the subject was only thane, and may have 
resigned it later. This would account for the fact that some ancient trees give to the second 
earl, son of Macduff, the thane and first earl, tlie unusual Saxon name of Etheldred. As the 
name of tho son of the Saxon Queen Margaret it is, of course, natural and supported by 
history; it is held by some writers that Macduff's son might have taken it out of courtesy. 
I-ord liailes suggests that Ethelilrcd had the custody of the earldom of Fife during tho 
niiuority of Macduff's son, and hence received the title of Earl of Fife us being ' cuslos coiiiilatiis.' 
The cliiUlrcn of Malcolm and Margaret are thus given by Andrew de Wyntoun in book vii. 
chapter iii. of the Cronyltil of Scotland : 

'Malcolm Kyng be lawchfiill get 

)Iad on hys wyff Saynt Margrut, 

Sowuuys sex and dowclitrys twa 

Off Uiir sownnys thre off tiia 

Wes Edmund, Edward, Ethelrede 

Kyng olf thire nowcht ane we red 

Jiot Edgaro, .Mysawudyre and Dawy yliyiir,,* 

llkaueolf Ihiie wes crowrivd a kyug.' 

' In tlic Annals of Ulster, Constantine is calleil Constantiue Macduffe. • young. 


sons of tlic sixtli carl. Tlic fifth Karl left two sons, Duncan and a younger 
one, sometimes called Suaw, from whom descend tlic Mackintoshes. 

Duncan, the sixth Karl, succeeded his father in 1151. llewas .Justiciary 
of Scotland in the reign of William the Lion, and, as had been the case 
with former earls of Fife, he was the first to witness all charters, and was 
one of the peers who treated for the monarch's ransom. lie married Ada 
or Ela, niece of Malcolm iv., ' and got with her in the lands of Strath- 
miglo, Falkland, Kettle, Rathkillet in Fife, and Strathbran in Perthshire ' 
(Sibbald). He founded the nunnery of North Berwick. He died in 1203, 
leaving three sons : Malcolm, Dukcan, and David. 

Malcolm, the seventh Karl, founded the Abbey of Culross in 1217, and 
made a donation to the episcopate of Moray to Avhieh his brothers, Duncan 
and David, were Avitnesses. He married Matilda, daughter of Gilbert, 
Earl of Strathearn, but died childless in 1229, and was buried in St. Servan's 
Church, Culross. 

His brother Duncan, married Alicia Corbet, daughter of Walter 
Corbet of Makerstoim, and their son was the eighth Earl. Upon the 
third, David, his father settled the lands of Strathbogie,i which he had 
obtained from William the Lion, and his son John married Ada, heiress 
of Athole, and from them a (probably mythical) descent has been traced 
to David Duff of Muklavit who will appear later. 

Mr. Malcolm's Collectiuns, belonging to the Karl of Wemyss, also affirm 
that 'the Duffs of Craighead, which is the same as Muklavit,' Avere descended 
from Duncan, sixth Earl of Fife, who died 1203, through this third son. 

jMalcolm, the eighth Earl, succeeded his uncle in 1228. He married 
Helen, daughter of Llewellyn, Prince of Wales, and died 12C6. He was a 
member of the regency appointed, in 1255, under the influence of Henry iii. 
of England, and, with his fellow regents, swore an oath that he would 
restore the Queen of Scotland and her child, when she went to England 
for her first confinement. 

Coi.ban, llie nintii Earl, died in 1270; he had a younger brother Macduff, 
who I'ell gallantly fighting under the standard of Wallace at the battle of 
Falkirk, July 22, 1208.2 

' ■ Duncan Mcdulf, Earl of Fife, got Stralhbogie from King William the Lion, who died 
12H, and left it to his second son David, and the Duffs wcie therefore proprietors of the whole 
county of Slrathbogie about a hundred years before the Cordons left the borders of iMigland 
or the Grants came into Strathspey.' 

- A MS. history of the Duffs, written in Latin in 1599, states tliat Duncan or Macduff (he 
probably had both names), brother of the ninth earl, who was killed at the battle of Falkirk 
r.;o8, fighting for Wallace, hail a younger son Malcolm, wlio married a ilaughler of Duncan, 
I haiieof t'awdor,ancl was progenitor of the Dulls of the Nor I h. It will be noted that noopi)or- 
Iniiily is lost by the old chroniclers of providing a possible ancoslor for these prolific ' Dul/s of 
llio North." Cf. ' Dulloriim Stirpe, liodic iirepotcntc inler Uorculis Scotos ' (Drummuir MS.). 



Macduff, Thane of Fife, created first Earl, 1057, 
m. Beatrice Banijuo. 

Diiffagan, hia son (witness tocliarterat Scone, 1115). 


Constantine M'^Duff, third Earl, died 1129. 

Gilmichael J^Duff (witness to charter of Holyrood, 1128, 
and charter of Dumfermline), died 1139. 


Duncan, fifth Earl, 
died 1154. 



Duncan, sixth Earl, 

died 1203, in. Ada, daughter 

of Malcolm iv. 

Hugo and 

(whence the Earls of 


Shaw (?) and others 

(whence the Mackintoshes). 

Malcolm, seventh Earl 
died 1228, 

m. Alicia Corbet. 
Blalcolm, eighth Earl, died 12GC, m. Htden, 
dauglitcr of Lluwellyn of Walos. 


I ^ ' I 

Colhan, ninth Earl, Macduff, 

died 1270. killed at Falkirk. 

I I 

Duncan, tenth Earl, Malcolm, 

m. Johanna de Clare, 

David of Strathhogie. 

John, Ml. Ada, helreas 
uf Atliole. 

David, ninth Earl of Athole. 
John, tenth Earl of Athole. 

Duncan, eleventh Earl, 


in. Mary de Munthermcr. 


Duncan, twelfth Earl 

of Fife, died 1:!5:i. 

Isaliel, David de Strathbogie, eleventh 

Countess of Buchan. Earl of Athole, died 132G - 

David, twelfth Earl 
of Athole, died 1335. 

Isabel diud i:W'.(, David, tliiile 

1. William Kainsay, thirteenth lOarl of Fife. of Atlu>le. d 

2. Walter, second son of Robert ii., 

fourteenth Earl of Fife. 

3. Thomas Bisset of Up.suttlington, fifteenth Karl of Fife. 

4. .John Dnnhar, had a charter to John Dunbar and 

Isabella, Countess of Fife, of the earldom of Fife. 

nth Kai 
•d 137ri. 

John {"!), assumed 
name of Dull, 

die.l 1 101. 



m. Agues Chalmers 

of I\Iuldavit. 

After Isabel's death (1389), without heirs, the earldom and lands jiassed (by lior will, made in 1.371) 
lo Hubert, Earl of Menteith, third son of Koherl ii,, and brother to Isabel's second husband. AVIien he 
• n I Ilia son, Murdoch, were executed in 1425, the title of Earl of Fife reverted to the Crown, to be revived 

II, irr/j. 


Duncan, the tenth Karl, born 12G.'5, v,as, (hiring his minority, a ward of 
Alexander, I'rinee oC SeoLland, son to Alexander iii. He was admitted 
to j)ossession ol' liis earldom in 1281. lie was eiiosen one ol' the six regents 
on the death ol" Alexander ill. in the Parliament ol' Scone, April 2, 1286, 
and took an oath to maintain the rights ol' tlic Maid of Norway. He 
married Johanna de Clare, daughter of the Earl of Gloucester. He was 
basely murdered at Petpollock, September 25, 1288, by Sir Patrick 
Abernethy and Sir Walter Percy, the latter being subsequently executed 
for the murder. ' He was most worthie of a longer life ' (Drummuir MS.). 

Duncan, the eleventh Earl, born in 1285, was therefore only three years 
old at the time of Jiis father's death, and was brought up at the English 
Court. At the coronation of John Ealiol at Scone in 1292, being a minor 
(only seven years old) he could not perform the ceremony, and John de 
St. John Avas appointed as his deputy. 

His sister Isabel, avIio was a good deal older, subsequently exercised 
the hereditary family right at the second coronation of Robert Bruce on 
May 29, 130G, and this in spite of the i'act tliat her husband, John Comyn, 
third Earl of Buchan, was an enemy of the Bruce. 

Duncan married, in 130G, Mary de Monthermer, grand-daughter of 
Edward i.,' and shortly after returned to Scotland, where lie espoused the 
cause of the Bruce, received from him the charters of the earldom of Fife 
and the baronies of O'Neil in Aberdeenshire, Kinnoul in Perthshire, and 
Calder in Midlothian. He did good service at the battle of Donnibristle 
and was the hrst of the earls who signed the celebrated letter to the Pope 
from the Parliament of Aberbrothock, assei'ting the independence of 
Scotland, April 0, 1320. He was taken jjrisoncr at the fatal battle of 
Diij)plin, August 12, 1332, and assisted at the coronation of Edward 
Baliol at Scone, on September 21 following, i)lacing him in the regal chair, 
as his sister had done for Bruce twenty-seven years before. He jiroljably 
acquired his liberty as the price ol' his assistance on the oceiision, as llie 
|)r('senee of the Eiirl of Eife or his representative was, in lliosc days, con- 
sidered esseritiid to tin; validity of a Scoltisli coronjd ion. 

He was killed at the battle of Ilailidown Hill, 1333.2 

Duncan, the tweUlh and last Earl of Eife in the male line from the great 
Maedidl', fought ^)\^ the side of David ii. after his retiu'n from Eranec, and 
took for him liie castle of St. Andrews. Hi' aeeompanied him to I'lngland 

' On January 2S, 1319, King Edward 11. granted asafe-condiicl to liis beloved niece Maria, 
Countess of Fife, to go to Scotland to join her hiisliand. 

^ According to Sir James IJalfour I'aul'a rcerii:;f, this ICarl and lljc next arc the same, i.e 
Duncan the eleventh ICarl, or, as the Pccrngc styles Iiim, the tenth, was not killed at Ilaili- 
down Hill, but survived until 1353, and left the daughter Isabel. 

lyunl) bn(ji 


iti l.'IIO, wlicn^ Iio \v;is liilcni prisoner ill, llic l)nlllc of Diirlmm :iii<l trioil for 
Irciisoii, lull |):ii-(i()ii('<l on iicconnl. of liis i'('l!il.ionslii|> on liis inollicr's side 
to I'ldwiird m.i lie died williout nude issue in iHM, and willi iiini llie 
Duffs or Macduffs, Earls oi" Fife, became extinct. lie was succeeded in 
his estates by liis dau<riitcr Isabel, iiresumably called after her intrepid 
•rreat-aunt.^ While still a child she had been made a prisoner at Perth 
by I'klward Baliol. She was i'our times married, but had no children : 

1. To William Ramsay of Colluthie, styled the tliirteenth Earl of 
Fife. He witnessed a charter of King David ii., 1358, and obtained from 
the king a charter erecting Cupar into a free burgh. 

2. To Walter Stewart, second son of King Robert ii. He died in 1360 
or 1361 ; he was styled the fourteenth Earl. 

3. To Thomas Bisset of Upsettlington. He obtained a charter of the 
earldom from David ii., June 8, 1362, and is styled, by Sibbald, the fifteenth 

4. To John Dunbar. Among the missing charters is one to John 
Dunbar and Isabella, Countess of Fife, of the earldom of Fife' John was 
the sixteenth Earl. 

Isabel, who died in 1389, left all her lands to her brother-in-law by her 
second husband, Robert, Earl of Menteith, afterwards Duke of Albany, 
to whom also the title of Earl of Fife seems to have passed by virtue of 
some shadowy right on the part of his wife, Lady Margaret Menteith, or, 
more probably, simply by royal favour. In any case, after the execution 
of Robert, Duke of Albany, and his son Murdoch for treachery, in 1425, 
the title of Earl of Fife reverted to the Crown, and disappeared from the 
peerage for over three hundred years, until revived in 1759.* 

' See papers at the Record Office. 

' Or aunt. See Note 2, p. lo. 

^ Robertson's Index of Missing Charters. 

* Many of the above particulars are taken from a very old manuscript tree and other 
ancient MSS. preserved in various branches of the family, and have been carefully collated 
with all the early historical authorities and modern commentators; but the authors are well 
awaro that their conclusions on various disputed ]ioints arc open to criticism, and Ihcy give 
them for what they arc worth, as cmbodyin;; the traditions of the family, supported by its own 



From about the same period as tliat of the extinction of the direct line of 
the family of the old Earls of Fife dates tlie appearance of the family of 
Duffs of Muldavit, which has a well-authenticated record, supported by 
Crown charters and Privy Council records for two himdrcd and fifty yenrs. 
It is, however, dilTicult to connect it authoritatively with the Thanes of 

The bald statement, found in some old family trees, that ' David Duff 
of Muldavit, who died in 1375, was grandson of Duncan, thirteenth Earl of 
Fife,' is obviously false, for the thirteenth Earl was one of the husbands of 
the childless Countess Isabel, and if Duncan, twelfth Earl, is meant, the 
question of dates proves a stumbling-block. Moreover, Isabel is generally 
said to have been the only child. 

However, as we have already seen, many of the earlier Earls of Fife had 
younger sons, and there is a perfectly j)ossible descent for the Muldavit 
family from the fourth, the sixth, or the eighth Earl. Baird quotes a story 
of old William Duff of Invei'ness, son of Adam of Clunybcg, when ' taking 
a cheerful glass in company with the then Earl of Wemyss and Macintosh 
of Moy, Duff's grandson-in-law, who were hJs^gucsts, and the question was 
started somehow or otlier which of them was re})resentative of the old 
Thanes of Fife. I'rovost Duff spake not a word till Lord Wemyss and 
Macintosh had pled their resiiectlve pretensions with a very serious air, 
but all in good humour ; then he said, " Ha, ha ! gentlemen, if I had 
Lonl Wecnis' estate and Macintosh's following, I think I would have as 
good title to be Thane of Fife as any of ye." ' This, of course, is of no real 
value as evidence, but he was obviously referring to the linking of the 
Muldavit family to the old Earls of Fife, and the descent of his own father 
from the l\liddavits, and shows that the claims were well known even 
in those days. Baird, the only previous historian of the familj', says, 
on the authority of Sibbald, that two younger sons of the family of the 
Earls of Fife left their own country and came north, ' one to tlie shire of 

• Jcrvise in his well-known book on c|)itai)lis, having gone carefully into the subject with 
all the (lata then at his disposal, gives it as his opinion that the connection of the Duffs of 
Craighead or Muldavit with the ancient Earls of Fife is pure assertion, founded on no evidence. 


I'crtli, vvlicrc lie piircliasL tlic I-.tTuls of Findowic in Strat.Iiorle, and tiic 
other to Uanl'fsliirc, where he purehast Crai^'hcad or Moklavit hi the IJoyn.' 
Dr. Craniond, in his slashing relutation ol' ail claim on the [lart oi' the Duke 
of Fife to antiquity of family, published in the Scotsman, July 29, 1889, 
quotes this with scorn. But obviously neither he nor Daird had taken the 
trouble to verify the quotation from Sibbald. It really runs thus (edition 
1710, Sibbald's Natural liistorij of Fife and Kinross) : ' There arc several 
cadets of the house, the predecessors of Fanduy, Craigtown and others.' 
Baird obviously wished to identify this with Craighead, but it is at least 
equally possible that Sibbald may have been referring to C'raigston, 
belonging in his day to Patrick Dul'f.i 

The family of iNIuldavit has, from the beginning of the fifteenth century, 
a well-authenlicatetl family tree : 

1. DAVID DUFF, m. Agnes Chalmers of Miild.-jvit, 
b. circa 1375. Charter in 1404. 

2. John Duff, Ilia son. 


I f 

3. John Duff. Charter 1440. Burgess of CuUcn. Thomas. 

AVailset Aluklavit to J. Innea. 

I. John Duff. Charter 1482. Burgess of Cullen, 1500. 
5. Andrew Duff, rcclecmcd the wadset lo04-1515, m. Helen Hav 

I I 

0. John Duff, bailie of Cullen, m. Elizalieth Alicrcroinb}-. * Sir' George of Caatleficld. 

got saninc on Mulilavit]510. I 

I I 

. George Duff of Muldavit, m. Isobel Gordon. 8. ' Mr.' .Tohn Duff, got Mul- m. 1. Aliercromby. 

1065 ; resigned it to his davit from his brother 1575 ; I 2. Margaret Gordon, 

brother 1575; commissioner resigned it to his son tiie .same | 1 

to Scots Parliament 1593. year ; died April 25, 15'.t3. | 

I I I I I I I 

0. John of Muldavit, m. Agne,'( Gordon. Patrick John, burgess George. Andrew, Adam, 

1.575; resigned it to I (eldest). of Cullen, James. Nicolas, of C'lunybcg, 

his eon lUis. j m. Margaret and four b. 15!)0. 

IMeldrum. more. I 

(son of one of these sons). | 

I ' 1 I 

10. John, last of Muldavit, m. IfilS, Isabel Allan. .lohn of Aberdeen, m. Margaret Alexander of 

sold Muldavit ir)2r.. | I Johnstone. Keithmoro. 

Ill I .„„,' , 

.\ndrow, Janet. Jamcsi, John of Rotterdam, rn. Anna luncs. wirnam oi 

a.s.p. o.s.p. died 1718. Dipple. 

' For Findowie, see chapter xxxv. 


1. David Duff of Miildavit, son ol' Jolin DuFf,' for wliom tlic dixtc 1375 
is given (nnd to wlioiii und to liis wife Agnes t'liiilmurs (' dc Cjuncni '), 
diuiglilcr and heiress ol' Maud of Rluldavit, a cluuLer ol" the lands ol' Mul- 
davit was granted in 1101 by Robert iii.), is said to have been descended 
from a younger son of the fifth or sixth Earl, but no proof of this has ever 
been given, and no one living has seen the above quoted charter, once in 
tiic possession of the Earl of Findlater, and given by him to the Earl of 
Fife. It is quoted in Robertson's List of Missiu'^ Charlers, where the names 
ai'c given as Maldakatu (Muldavit) and Baldavy." 

Tlie later charters may be seen in the Scottish Records and the Registnnn 
Magni Sigilli. 

2. John, the second Duff owner of Muldavit, flourished in the reign 
of King James i. of Scotland, ' as appears liy the charter to his son in 
his lifetime, though it docs not appear that he ever cxpcde a charter to 
himself ' (Baird). 

3. John, the third of Muldavit, his successor, had a charter from 
James ii. during the lifetime of his father : 

' Apud Edinburcho, 12 Feb. 14'iO. Ilex concessit Jolianni Diife filio ct heredi 
Joh. Dufc ct hcridibus ejus tcrrani que vocatur Fyndaehtcfickl, jaccntem ex 
parte occidciitali acquae dc Culanc, quam dictus Joh. pater personaliter in 
castro dc Edinburchc rcsignavit. lleddend annuatini rcgi, dictus Joh. licrcdcs 
sui vol assignati i marc ct tacicnd scctum cum bladis dieti ton. ad molendinum 
burgi dc Culanc dcbitam ct consuctani. Kiscrvato libcro tcncmcnto dictc Joh. 
patri ct rationabili tcrtia sponsc ejus cum coatigcrit.' 

This John had a brother Thomas, as shown by a notarial instrument 
in the charter room at Cullen House, Avhich narrates that ' in the presence 
of the notary and witnesses underwritten, in full Court in the Court House, 
compeared James Ogilvy of Drumnakeitli and Thomas DulT, baillies of the 
burgh of Cullen, witJi the councillors and fellow-burgcsses thereof, and in 
a high and intelligible, yet sufficiently lamentable voice, deplored the 
abuses and confusions into which misgovernment had brought the affairs 

• A monument, removed from the church of Cullen in 1792 by James, second Lord 
Fife, is supposed to represent John Dulf, father of David, 'f'he date of his death, 1.104, being 
cut in Arabic figures, not in use at that period, points to the hand of the restorer, an.\ious 
to emphasise the antiquity of the family, and to give the same date as the charter. 

^ In the inventory of cliarters at Cullen House, the absence of tins, the first cliarter, is 
noted in the following words : 

' This charter, at Lord Fife's earnest desire, was given up to him, and his letter of thanks, 
dated 19th Nov. 1759, is put up in its place.' 

The dale of the charter is there given as February 5, 1.(03 ("''' style). 

It was printed in the Spalding Club collections from this 'copy in private hands," which 
has now disappeared. 


of tlic hurfrli, and tlicy agreed to elect certain discreet and understanding 
liiirgesses, to wlioni tliey gave tlie power ol' setting in tack all lands, mills, 
and others belonging to the said burgh, etc., etc. Done on March IG, 
1180-1. Witnesses — James Ogilvy of Drumnakcith, Jolm Duff, senior, 
and Thomas Duff, senior, brothcr-gcrman to said John.' John Duff 
wadset (that is, mortgaged), Muldavit to one James Innes. 

i. John, fourth of Muldavit, his son, luid this wadset confirmed in 
the following terms : 

' Apud Edinburghi, 13 April 1482. Rex confirmavit cartam Johannis Duff, 
burgensis di Culaue qua, pro ccrta summa pecuniae vcndidit ct alienavit Jacobo 
lanes de eodem heredibus ejus ct assignatis terras di Maudavat. vie Baid'f.' ^ 

The house of Muldavit, of which no trace now remains, is said to have 
stood ' upon a cliff just above the burn of Cullen, opposite to the magnifi- 
cent mansion of Cullen House.' Exactly the same description is given by 
Cordon of Straloeh of the site of Craighead. Possibly the house on the 
estate of Muldavit was called Craighead. The latter name does not occur 
until a century later, and may have been applied only to the mansion 
built on that site by INIargaret Gordon of Cairnburro^v, wife of the great- 
grandson of the John Duff who died in IIS'2.- In the lialbithan MS.^ it is 
stated that ' she built the house of Craighead which is now reazed.' It 
was in ruins in 1732.'* 

5. John was succeeded in 1500 by Andrew Duff, said by Baird to be his 
son, but the Rcgistrum Magni Sigilli, 1504, says nephew {ncpos Johannis), 
though the word may mean, as it often docs, grandson, and refer to John, 
third of Muldavit, brother of Thomas, leaving out Andrew's immediate 
predecessor. In any case, he redeemed tlie wadset upon Muldavit granted 
i)y his grandfather, John Duff : 

'Apud Linlitligow, IG Jiuic 1504. Rex eonformavit cartam Jae. Iniics de 
Uothybrysbanc, filii ct hcrcdis quondam Jac. Inncs dc eodem, qua concessit 
Aiidrae Duff ct heredibus ejus quibus cunquc terras di Muldavet vie lUinff ; 
iinae (jUdndiun Jolui Duff, a\us dieti Andrae, dieto quondam Jae. Innes ])iuti 
aliciiavJL siil) rcv<'rsi()n<' ecrl.i sunmia ))ceniii;c quaiu tlielus And. pcrsolvcbat ' 
{Sciitlish lircurds : Accnuuls of llw Lord High Tirasurcr, 1501). 

Andrew married Helen Hay, grandchild of John Hay, Lord of the 
Forest of Boj^ne, Knzie and Tillibady. After his death, Helen built the 

' The confirmation is dated March 13, 1481. 

' This John Duff, the burgess of Cullen (see above), raised an action in 1493 against one 
Ofjilvie re the land;; of Findachtyfield, which the Duffs claimed under a charter of Kobert the 
1 truce (Acta Audit. 170). 

' I'rintcd in the //oKSf 0/ Gori/oH, Spalding Club, 1903. * Hamsay. 


Duff aisle in tlic clnirch of Cullcn, and left some land for its upkeep,^ and 
plaeed tlie I'ollowinf^- inscription in the einircli : ' John Hay, Lord of the 
Forest l?on, Aze, Tolbovil, gudsir to li^len Ilay yt bi;i^it yrs lie left a chap- 
lari heir to sing personali of his landis of Ordihuf,' with the craftsman's 
Z mark. 

Round the window is also : ' Sant anis chaplan lieir dotat yt acre 
gud croft land in cula sal be a gud singar of hall lif but odir service dati 
resident to pray for Elen Hay and hir barnis his fundors at gift of Jon Duf 
and his aris of Maldavit and faling yarof at gift of ye balzeis and comunite 
of Cula per Elena Hay.' 

On the west side : ' Elene Hay Jon Duffis modr of Maldavit yat maid 
yis He ye chaplanrie,' and on two corner stones : ' per Elena Hay, soli 
Deo honor et Gloria.' - 

6. Andrew Duff died in 1519 according to Baird, but according to the , 
Decennial List of Heirs he was dead in 1515, leaving two sons. John, sixth 
of Muldavit, who succeeded him, was served heir in 1520. Helen Hay, 
John's mother, had married again, one Alexander Dick, who seems to have 
been appointed guardian to John Duff, for in the Register of the Privy 
Seal, Scotland, date July 21, 1515, there is: 

' Anc letter to Alexander Dyk his iiiris and assignaris, of tlie ward of all 
lands and annualis that pertinct to unquile Andro Duff of Jluklavit, and now, 
be his deccis, being in the kyngis hands be rcsoun of ward for all the tyme 
thereof, and the marriage of Johne Duff his sown and arc, and failzeand of 
hym of any other are or airis male or fcinell,' etc. 

' Cullcn lieiords. 

- After tlie aisle fell into disrepair it appears to have been used for the interments of any 
who chose to pay for it, and in the next century Agnes Gordon, wife of John Duff, who is sum- 
moned as a recusant for refusing to come to church, gives as her reason that ' there was a man 
buried in her husband's ile without the consent of her and her friends.' In 1624 a process 
was issued against her. ' George Douglas declared that Agnes, having sworn and subscribed 
to the trae religion, rcfuseth to hear the word in Iiis kirk because tlieru was a man buried in 
her husband's ylc and burial place, upon the night, without the consent of her and her 
friends.' The process dragged on until 1033, wlien Agnes is spoken of as of great age, and 
was therefore treated with leniency. 'Tlie Prcsbyterie, considering that she has been avers 
from the treulh all her dayes, and that of lait she is induced to liear the word now and then 
elscquiicr antl to comniunicat, and that being of grcit age she cannot be ane ordinir hciriar, 
wills him to continue, until the Asserabhes adwys be liad.' She was, however, still alive in 
io.|i. In 1637 there was further quarrelling about this aisle. Several brethren, namely 
George Ogilvie in Cullen, James Ogilvie, sometime of Glassa', and certain other parishioners 
of Cullen, gave in a report that Mr. James Hay of Muldavit had erected a double desk on the 
cast side of tlie Isle reaching further, much of a foot, beyond the pend (arch) of the church, 
whereas Mr. Pat. Duff sometime of Darbruich and his predecessors had their burials ' 
(I're^hylr.rv Rccurds of I'ordyic). 

The decision of the baillics that the desk be removed (Cullen Court Boolts). 

Adam Dull of Clunybcg was buried in this aisle. See ne.\t chapter. 

;» '' 


Tlic second son was (iKOiiOv, Diii'i', a piicsl, I'covost of (!nllcn, clinplain 
in tlic i)iivis!\ cliurch tlicic, who in 15G2 renders aceounls lo llie hailics ol" 
Cnllen. He acquired tlic lands of Castlcfield, and left them by a charter 
(iipnd Dalkeith, 10 Juli 1575)^ to his natural son John, afterwards 
ie^'itiinaled, whose heirs were to carry the name and arms of DulT. 
John Duff of Castlcfield appears as a witness to a charter in 15S3. 

(ieorirc Duff appears in the family trees as ' Sir ' George.^ 

John, elder brother of George, had a precept of sasine on the lands of 
Muldavit, apud Banff 1520.-* lie also appears in the roll of the bailies 
of Cullen in 1521. According to Cullen Records, he married Elizabeth 

7. He left two sons, George and John, seventh and cightli lairds of 
Middavit. The first resigned his lands in favour of his brother.* lie was 
conuiiissioner for the burgh of Cullen, and, according to the Acts of the 
Parliament of Scotland, was present with other commissioners at the 
Toibooth, Edinburgh, in 1593. 

According to Baiid he never married, but later researches have elicited 
the fact that he married Isobel, daughter of Patrick Gordon of Drummoy, 
and had a daughter Isobel, who married another Patrick Gordon, son of 

' 'Apud Dalkeith, lo July 1575. Rex confirmavit cartam quondam D. Georgio Duff por- 
tionarii de Castlcfield, qua pro scrvitis et laboribus sibi impensis, consessit Johanni Duff filio 
.suo naturali, quondam bastardo, sed tunc legitimate, quartam et octavum partem terrarum 
dc Castlcfield per sc modo occupat. Tenend dicto Joh. et hcredibus masc ejus do corporo 
Ic^it. procreandis, quibus dclicientibus, heredibus masc. Mag. Jobannis Dulf in Conne.s de 
corpore legitime procreatis, quibus def. heredibus rege. Resorvato vitali rcdditu dicto Georgio; 
turn precepto sasine directo Ale.\andro Syme, burgcnsi in CuUanc. 

Test. M. Jo. Duf in Connes. 

Geo. Duf. filio quondam William D.' 

Dr. David Hay Fleming in his Reformation in Scotland gives a list of the sons and daughters 
of the celibate clergy of Scotland, recorded to have been legitimated at this period, taken 
from the Registers of the Great Seal of Scotland. 

' .\boiit 15-10 the title ' Sir ' was applied in Scotland to such of the clergy as had not pro- 
ceeded in the course of their studies at the University to the degree of Master of Arts. ' Master ' 
then implied a higher position than ' Sir," which was equivalent to a B.A. (Cramond). 

' 'Banff, 1520. Vicecomes respondebit pro 40 lib de fermis terrarum de Muldavit cum 
pcrtinem jacentium infra belliam .suam existentium in manibus regis per spatium 5 annorum 
lilt, claps, sasina non recupcrata et pro 4 ti de relcvis carundum regi debitis per sasinam datam 
Julianni Duff de eisdem apud Edinburgh.' 

* 'Apud Hammyton, 28 April 1551. Regina confirmavit cartam quondam Georgii Duff 
■ If Muldavit' (but Mr. Maitland Thomson says the word quondam here is an error) 'qua 
pr.iptcr servitium sibi impensum concessit fratri suo gcrmano Johanni Duff heredibus ejus 
et a-signatis, terras de Muldavit cum molendino ejusdem vie Banff. Riservato dicto Geo. 
hbcro tcucmento. 

Test. Jac. Duff in Tellemacht. 

Dom Georgius Duff, preposite college de Culane.' 


f'iiin>I)iiii()W ({Jordoiislowii 'J'nhlos, llonsc of Clordoii, ii.). Ifc is not 
known Lo li:ivc: had any sons. 

8. JoMN, the tii^litli owner from the original David, "ot a cliartcr for 
liimsclf on Muldavit from Queen Mary, November *2(i, l.^SO, and anotlier 
n|)on a ci'oft, of which tlic teindshcaves are said to l)eIon<v to the vicar 
of lite ])arisli cliurch of llatlivcn.' Tlie wllnesses lo Ihis cliartcr are CJcoriK' 
Duff, Mnldavit, brother of John, and Andrew Duff, probably anothir 
brother, and the same man who had sasinc on Clunybcg, 1573. This 
John Duff, who was evidently an M.A., and is always described as ' Mr.', 
became a burgess of Aberdeen in 1581. lie married, first, Abereromby of 
Skeith's daughter,^ and had one son, Joiix, who succeeded to Muldavit ; 
secondly, Margaret Gordon, daugliter of Cairnburrow,^ by wliom he is said 
to have had eleven sons. ' lie was servitor to George, Earl of Iluntly, 
and tackman in the lands of Ranncs. Service in Chancery gives his 
death April 25, 1593 ' (Rose). He lived for some time in Connge in 
Ranncs, and is frequently so described. 

In the Balbithan IMS., now published as part of the House of Gordnn, 
New Spalding Club, Margaret Gordon is thus dcscriljcd : 

' Margaret Gordon, second dauglilcr of John Gordon of Cairnburrow, fa-st 
married tlie goodnuin of Craigliead (which is the same as Muldavit), Mr. John 
Duff, wlio bore to him eleven sons, of whom is come Braecho and all the ojiulcnt 
sirnamc of Duffs ; after the Craighead's death, slie married the goodman ui 
Milton Ogilvie in the parish of Keith ; slic built the house of Craighead, now 
rcazed ; slic built the house of Milton-Aehoynaiiic and the steeiile of Keith ; 
her jiaine and her husband's is on the liouse of Achoynanic, dated ICOl. She 
was interred in her patcriud burying place in the kirk c)f Botarie.' 

The eldest of her sons was Patkick of Darbruich, who married Janet 
Ogilvie (tluis further complicating the rclationsliijis between tlie families 
of Duff and Ogilvie). ^ 

In one jjlace where William Rose mentions tlic eleven sons of ' Jlr.' 
John Duff and Margaret Gordon, he adds (for liis own future guidance, 
appareully) : ' Collect who llu'y wvw: '-- but does not seem lo have done so 
very satisfactorily. 

Those we know of were as follows : 

' Pronounced Kalfan, near Uiickie. 

- No record has been found, but the fact of a first marriage is certain. 

" Margaret's brother, William Gordon of Rothiemay, and liis son Jolin Cordon, were 
burned in Frendrauj^ht Casllc by Cricliton of Fremlrau^hl, Oclobcr 1(150. 'this cvcjil is coni- 
rncnioratcd iji a udl-known Iiallad, ' The Uurniii;j of ]''rc'ndraiij;ht.' 

■■ JIargarct, widow of John Duff, married Waller Ogilvie. Her eldest son by John Duff, 
Patrick of Darbruich, married Janet Ogilvie, and her husband's grand-daughter, by the son of 
his first wife, Margaret Duff, married George Ogilvie of Cluncs, 1623. 


P.vritiCK, John, Ckokge, James, Anjirew, At.exanoer, Adam, and 
Niciior.AS, n'itli tlircc others (ol' whom one was possibly Wiijjam and 
anollicr Tiio^rAs). 

Patrick ol' Uarbriiich, actually second son ol" 'Mr.' John Duff, is 
always described as the eldest son of ' Mr.' John Duff and Margaret Cordon. 
lie would seem to have been nearly grown up at the time ol' his father's 
death in 1593. In 1590 he granted a charter ol' the lands of Badeheir, 
near Dufftown, to John Clorilon of Buckie {Gordon Caslle Charters), who 
had in 1580 made tliem over to Patrick's lather, Mr. John Duff {ibid). 
lie had a tack of Darbruieh (part of the Muldavit ])roperty in Dcskford, 
where there was, until recently, a farm of that name) in 1001, and sold it 
to Andrew Hay of Rannes in 1G25, and Tulloehallum (which his father 
had got from Gordon of Auehindoun in 1592) to Leslie in the same year. 
lie was burgess of Cullcn 102.'}. 

In 1023 the Master of Dcskford resigned to Patrick Duff, biu-gcss of 
CuUen, lauds which had belonged to the second preljcndary of Cullen. There 
was a discharge granted in IGll by Adam Duff in Ardrone to his brother 
Mr. Patrick Duff of Darbruieh of an obligation for a hundred merks, which 
(lie said Adam Duff borrowed. In IGll Adam also discharged Mr. Patrick, 
his brother, of the sum of four hundred merks left to him by his father after 
the decease of Margaret Gordon, his mothei', wdiich presumably took place 
in the year IGll, and the above deed was not registered until nine years 
afterwards {Deed Book of Banff, September 10, 1G20). 

John Duff, third son, was servitor to the Laird of Balveny, and witness 
to a deed of 1030. This is the second John in the family of ' Mr.' John 
Duff of Muldavit, the other being by his first wife. He is witness to a 
deed of 1018, and is referred to by his brother, who executes the deed, as 
' John Duff, my brother-gernum.' Either he or his brother was prebendary 
of St. Anne's in 1G17. 

Geokge, described in liis old age as ' of Whynty.' ' He did marry 
Janet Allan ' (Rose MS.). ' 159G Testis, Geo. Duff, filio quondam M. 
Joannis Duff dc Maldavatt ' {Reg. Mag. Sig.). 

James, in Cullen, also apparently a burgess of Aberdeen. 'He had 
jiertaining to him in Cullen the croft called the straight croft, and the 
l)ei|) slack and several other crofts. He died on Charitymas in France 
KiOy,' being apparently ' fugitate,' and his record in Cullcn does not seem 
to have been very honourable.^ 

lie left one son Joux, afterwards in Aberdeen (John Duff, burgess of 
.\htrdeen, son of James Duff in Cullen. — Rose MS.). 

.\nl)1!EW lived in Cullen, and was an elder of the parish (1G55-1G57), 
' lie w.i-. (rcciucnUy citcxl before llic kirk-scssion mid the presbytery for his evil deeds. 


in wliicli ciipjicily lie iiLlcndcd ii iiKrliiijr of Hk- |)i(sl)yL(;ry ol' I'^ordycc. 
lie Wiis possibly I lie saiiic man who was ai'Li'iwiirds a mcrcliaiit burgess in 
Elgin, 1055. 

Andrew also left descendants. ^ 

' Aiidro ' and his brother John were also witnesses I'or .John Gordon 
ol' l<"in(llater in IGGO. 

Alexander is said to have been a messenger in Elgin. 

Adam, the most important of the eleven. 

Nicholas, whom Rose tries to identify with Nicholas or Nicol Duff, 
town-clerk of Forres, but as the latter had two sons, Alexander and Ccorgc, 
and in 1018 Nicholas Didf ami his son (ieorge, both burgesses, are witnesses 
to a charter, it is obvious that this Nicholas cannot be the younger f^rother 
of Adam Duff, born in 1590, as that Nicholas could himself havebeen only 
twenty-six, and could not have had a son a burgess and valid witness. 

'J'here was one daughter Maugaiiet. 

9. John, the half-brother of all these, and ninth laird of Muldavit, 
' Mr.' John Duffs son by his first wife, was served heir to him in certain 
lands in 1622, not long before his o\\^l death : - 

' Joannes Duff, hocrcs magistri Jounnis Duff de Maldavit patris, in terris 
dc Tarbruiclic ct New fusterscat ex parti orientali silvae di Bynwode ; officio 
forcstariac jiraefatae silvae dc Bynwoodc in baronia sou domiiiis de Culsawcrtlie ' 
(From the Early Scottish Heirs, Record Commission, May 25, 1022). 

This John Duff, ninth laird, the first of the family to be described 
as ' of Craighead,' got a charter ujDon the lands of Muldavit, during his 
father's lifetime, dated July 10, 1575, and another, February 24, 1610.^ He 
was a Justice of the Peace for Banffshire, 1 Gil. lie married Agnes Gordon.'' 

In the Rose ]\IS. there is the following note : ' John Duff, called younger 
of Craighead, in 1580 residing in Conas or Conage in Rannes, was not 
Margaret Gordon's son, but a son of John Duff of Muldavit and a daughter 
of Abcrcrombie of Skeith.' It seems obvious that a man who lived on a 
farm as tenant in 15S0, whose son (John Duff, tenth of IMuldavit, who 
married Isabel Allan) was married in 1618, must himself have been born 

' In one of the papers at Drummuir, of the date i666, referring to the marriage of Provost 
Wilham and Janet I,ockhart, reference is made to lands acquired from James Duff in Cullen, 
and to Isabel, Janet and James Dulf or Demiditff, as lawfully charged to enter heirs in general 
to the deceased Andro Duff, to be holding of the immediate superior as the said William Duff 
holds. James in Cullen and Andrew were presiimably these two of the younger uncles of 
William, sons of ' Mr.' John Duff and Margaret Gordon. 

'' In those days, man)' years often elapsed between the death of the testator and the 
proving or acting upon tlic will, or entering upon an inheritance. 

' These two charters are now at Cullen House among the papers of Loril Seafield. 

* Their portraits, by a predecessor of Jamesone, are here reproduced. 

OHN DTTFT <.)T M. Ul.J); 

sf.y c,//r,Jwu:/ 0> 


before 1560, and covild therefore not liavc been tlie son of the woman 
(Margaret Gordon) whose youngest eliililrcn were horn after her second 
marriage in IGOl to Walter Ogilvic. (Slie is known to have liad two 
Ogiivie cliildrcn — one son, John, and tlic daughter I\Iargaret, married to 
John Stewart of Ardbrecl<, who will be mentioned later.) This I'aet seems 
to need no demonstration, and clearly proves a first marriage for ' Mr.' 
Joiin Duff, though no record of it exists. Margaret Duff is first 
tiientioncd as wife in 1579 in a reversion to Gordon of Auchindoun. 
Tlicre is an instrument of John Duff's ren\nieiation to Sir Patrick 
Gordon of Auchindoun of tlie half town and lands of Clunymore, Milton 
and Smithston, and the contract of wadset thereon, by payment of five 
liundred merks, dated February G, ISS-i. His wife, Margaret Gordon, 
docs not appear in this instrument, and it lias been pointed out that 
the appearance of her name in the deed of five years earlier probably 
fixes the date of her marriage as having taken place some years only 
before that date.^ 

In a <Iocument in the charter room at Cuilcn House, dated March 31, 
1012, John Duff of Muldavit (son -of ' I\Ir.' John Duff and husband of 
Agnes Gordon), Mr. Patrick Duff of Darbruich his brother, Walter Duff, 
son of John Duff and present prebendaiy of St. Anne's, and Adam Duff, 
i)rother-german to Patrick Duff, confirm the right of James Lawtic, bur- 
gess of Cullen, to some lands granted in 1591 by John Duff (father of John, 
Patrick, and Adam) in lil'erent, to his son Adam and his own wife Margai-et 
Gordon, and Patrick binds himself to obtain from Margaret Gordon, or 
her son Adam, all necessary titles to comj)letc the sales. Adam would 
appear to have been young at the time of his father's death, proljably 
tlirce years old, and Patrick mucli older. John (ninth laird), eldest son of 
'Mr.' John, married Agnes Gordon (the recusant mentioned on page 10), and 
in 1G26 he and his son sold Muldavit to James Hay of llannes, ' with the 
consent of Agnes Gordon his spouse, John his eldest son, and Isabel Allan, 
spouse of the said John, by charter, apiid Ciillcii.' The sigiuilures of these 
four persons may still be seen in the I'oini Hooks of Cuilcn. The elder 
John Duff (ninth laird), who had three other sons, Walter, prebendary 
of St. Anne's, James, the witness (baillie of Cnllen), and William, as well as 
a daughter IMargaret, Avho married George Ogiivie of Clunes, died in 1627 
(I'rccept of Chancery, September 4, 1627). 

From 1G2G then the family is no longer ' of Muldavit.' 

10. Of John Duif younger of Muldavit, tenth and last owner, and 
tufirc properly described as of the Orchard, very little is known, except 
I he following from the Presbytery Records of Fordycc : 

' (jutduii Casllc ChurLn. 



'2^Srpl. }C)2\: — Jolui Diiffes of Cnviyhcatl, cickr unci younfrcr, arc orrlcinct 
to be sjjolcen to and confcrit with, aiiciit their not kccf)iiig of llic Sabotli and 
liciriiig of tlic word, he Mr. David Forester, and Mr. Patrick Darg qiilia said 
John J)uff elder of Craigiicad had pronicssit to amend, and Mr. Uavid 
Forester promeisit to speak Joliu Uuff younger and to report his answer the 
next Presbytcrie.' 

After the death of tht elder John there is anotlier entry : 

' 10 Dec. IC'iS. — George Douglas, moderator, shews that John Duffc, 
sometymes of Muldavid is come to be resident in Cullen, wlui is a profest 
Papist and contemner of the word. lie is ordained to deal with him 
privatlie, and with his familic to observe ordour, and to report the fruit of his 
privat ])aincs the next daj' of meeting.' 

' 18 March IG'29. — George Douglas declares that John Duff being oftcnlymcs 
desired be him to confer anent his doubts in religion postponed and would 
enter on no conference thcrcanent. The saiil Jiion, being summondit to this 
day apud acta is called and eompeircs, allinns that the caus of his not con- 
ferring wes his travcll and many distractions about his affaires, alwisc offered 
now to conferre, to continue in hearing sermons, and to communicat at 

' 7 April 1G30. — George Douglas reported that John Duff in Cullen, and 
Agnes Gordon his mother, had conformed.' 

A copy on parchment of his marriage-contract to Isabella Allan exists 
among the Drummuir papers,^ dated June 8, IGIS, in which John Duff, 
his father, makes over to him the lands of Muldavit. 

The text of the charter, in translation, is here given : 

To all who will sec or hear this charter, John Duff, of Maldavit, eternal 
greeting in the Lord. 

Know that I, for the fulhlnieiit of a charter on my part for a certain contract 
entered into and made between me, John Duff, for mj'self and undertaking the 
charge for John Duff the younger, my lawful in-st-born son, and for Agnes Gordon 
my wife, and John Duff the younger for himself, wilh the express consent and 
assent of his said falhir and mother, of one part, and Kathaiiue Thorn ton, relict of 
the late William Allan, burgess of Aberdeen, and Andrew Kelly, burgess of the 
said city of Aberdeen, for themselves and undertaking the charge for Isabella 
Allan, lawful daughter born of the said late William Allan and the said Katharine 
Thornton, and the said Isabella Allan for herself, with the consent of her said 

• One of the witnesses is ' John Duff, burgess of Cullen, my brother-german ' ; another is 
' James Duff, my third lawful son ' ; and a John Duff, undescribed, also signs the document. 
According to tlie instrument of sasinc, lidinburgh, this Jolm was a burgess of Aberdeen, and 
' procurator legitime constitutus pro Issobella Allan futura conjuge dicti Joannis Duff apparan. 
de Muldavat.' He was, without doubt, a relative, and may have been John Duff of Boghole, 
who will appear later. 

:',/ atOd:,,! 


mother, of the other part, the present date at Aberdeen and Craighcid, 23rd 
May and 8th June 1G18. Also for the love and filial affection whieh I bear and 
have towards my beloved son, the aforesaid John Duff, and his future wife 
Isabella Allan, I have given, granted, alienated, sold ... by title of pure sale, 
and ha\'e confirmed by this my present charter, to the aforesaid John Duff and 
Isabella Allan, his future wife, and the survivor, in joint enfeoffment in tail male, 
in default of whieh to the heir and assigns of the said John Duff, the whole 
and entire my lands of IMaldavat, with manors, houses, buildings, dovecote, 
mill, mill-lands of the same, woods, parks, tofts, crofts . , . parts and a2:)purten- 
anees, lying within the parish of Rathven and the county of I5anff ; reserving 
only the free tenement or liferent of all and singular the aforesaid lands with 
. . . appurtenances to me, John Duff, senior, of IMaldavat, and Agnes Gordon, 
my wife, for all the days of our lives. To hold and to have wholly and entirely 
the aforesaid my lands of IMaldavat to the aforesaid John Duff and Isabella 
Allan, and the survivor of them, in joint enfeoffment in tail male, and in default, 
to the heirs and assigns of the said John, of me, my heirs and assigns, in fee and 
free white farm ; ^ through all their ancient right boundaries and divisions as 
they lie in length and breadth, in houses, buildings, gardens, woods, plains, 
moors, marshes, roads, paths, waters, ponds, rivers, meadows, feedings, 
pastures, mills, mill tolls, and their suits," bird-catching, hunting, fishing, peat, 
turf, coal, charcoal, tools, brew-houses, heath, broom, woods, groves, copses, 
cut-wood, logs, wood-cutting, stone-cutting, stone and chalk, with courts and 
their issues, scutages, fines, with common pasture, the right of taking fuel, 
free entrance and exit, and with all and singular other the liberties, commodities, 
profits, easements and their just appurtenances whatsoever both named and 
unnamed, above and beneath the earth, far and near, to the aforesaid lands of 
iSIuldavat . . . with appurtenances belonging or rightly belonging in any way 
in the future, freely, quietly, fully, honourably, well and in peace, without any 
revocation, reclamation or obstacle whatsoever, paying thence annually, that 
is, the aforesaid John Duff and Isabella Allan, his future wife, and the survivor 
of them, and their male issue, and in default the heirs and assigns of the said 
John whosoever they are, to me, my heirs and assigns, one penny in the n;ime 
of white farm at the feast of Pcntecoste, if demanded oidy, for all other charge, 
secular service, by action, question or demand, whieh for the said lands of 
Maldavat can be justly exacted by any one in any waj'. And I, the aforesaid 
John Duff, of jMaldavat, my heirs and assigns, will warrant all and singular the 
aforesaid lands of IMaldavat to John Duff and IsaVxHa Allan, his future wife, 
and the survivor of them, in form alike and effict as is aforesaid, also free and 
immune from all wages, reliefs, entries, forfeitures, pourprestures, disclaimers, 
acknowledgments, interdictions, evictions, assignments, resignations, assess- 
ments, ' third yearly ' and liferents, etc., bastardies, other alienations, estates 
and seisins, also from all and singular other dangers, losses and injuries whatso- 

• A yearly rent paid in bilver. 


ever, will warrant against all mortals, acquitt and defend for ever. Moreover, 
to our beloved Master Patrick Duff of Darbniieli ' . . . 1 enjoin and firmly 
order each of yon, jointly and separately, my bailiffs speeially appointed in 
this matter, that you give and deliver estate and seisin alike and possession, 
aetual, real and eorj)oral, of all and singular my aforesaid lands of Maldavat 
... to John Duff and Isabella Allan, by handing and giving earth and 
stone of the ground to the same aecording to the force, form, tenor, and 
effect of my above charter, on sight of these presents, without delay, and 
omitting nothing. For which purpose I empower you and each of you jointly 
anil se|)arately, my bailiffs aforesaid, fully and irrevocably by the tenor of these 

In witness whereof to this my present charter I have subscribed with my 
hand, and written by the luuid of Master John Gellie in Fordyee, I have appended 
my seal, at Craigheid, 8Lii June 1G18, before these witnesses, Paul Gellie, burgess 
of Culiane, .John Duff, burgess of Cullen, my brother germane, James Duff, 
my third lawful son, and James Gardner, sergeant in Cullen, and John Duff. 

John Duff of Muldavatt, with my hand. 
Acnes Gokdon. 

.Tohn Duff, witness to the premises. 

Paull Gellie, witness. 

.Tames Duff, witness. 

.Tames Gairdner, witness. 

J. Gellie, witness and scribe of the premises. 

James Duff (' my third lawful son '), brother of John Duff of the 
Orcliard, is afterwards heard of in Cullen as ' a distressed gentleman,' 
and the rent of a ' mortified croft ' is to be used to pay the maill (i.e. rent) 
of his house in 1G70. He makes frequent appearances in the Cullen 
Session Ivccords as an evil-doer. 


'3rd Sept. 1027. Visitation of Cullen 

'Tlie whol presbytrie eonveint . . . together with elders .Tames Lord Desk- 
fuiril, Mr. (Jeorgc Lesly, James Lawtic, 'riiuiuas Lawlie, .lohne Ilempscid, 
Alexr. Ogilvie, Mr. Patrick Duff, .lohne Duff, George Stciiisone. 

' ConiiJcirit Janus Uujf, of Citllcn, (juho befor vas privatlie admonisht 
by George Douglas, minister, tliat he suld not vneharitablic abuse his wyff, 
Agnes Gcddes, in beating of her, qlk he ])romeissit to doe, nevertheless the said 
.Tames Duff upon one Sabboth the 2 of Se|iteniber ilid biatt her befor sermon 
befor noon and vpon the same day, being ane day of publik fast and humilia- 
tion, having come to Gods sanetuarie for hearing the afternoon sermon, inunedi- 

' Half-brother to the elder John. 


utclic afLor l.bc scnnoii is Ix'^^iin, went mil of Uie kirk in ;i furic, and caino to 
liis lioiisc and tliuir did ciiuiiic nmrsti'iriilly and pilifidly vithunl conunisora- 
lioii strik and ding liis said spous to Gods dishonour, breach off liis Sabt)()Li» 
and fast. The said James beeing now pcrsonaliie present sceniit lo deny he 
did strik his wyff befor noon, but confessit that in tynic of the afternoon sermon, 
and did in wratli and raigc tliat earn vpon Iiim sitting in Gods house he dnng 
his said sj)ous, quliervpon all that vas present vas astonisheil at tlie said wieked 
fact, tlic tynie mancr and circumstances thairoff, in one voice deeernit the said 
James to mak his publick repentance on Sabboth day evir quhill the minister 
and elders rcccivit satisfaction with signcs off his true repentance to God, and 
in caise of dissobedience to be processit secundum canones ecclesiar, as lykwayes 
to pay tuentie pounds for his penaltie to the said kirk to be bestowed ad pios 
usos, and to this effect ordancs his person to be vardit vntill he find a cautioner 
to obeye the premises and for eschewing the lyk enormitie in all tyme comming, 
quherfor the said James hath frind Alexr. Ogilvie, notar publick and burgess 
of Cullcn, cautioner for fulfilling the premises.' 

Jolni Duff and Isabel Allan had a son Andrew,^ who married Grisel 
Bell 1G4.7, and a son James, baptised in Cullcn Ajjril 3, 1G29, as well as 
the daughter Janet (sec next chapter), but none of these left descendants — - 
Janet's son dying ■without issue. 

Adam Duff was lialf-brother to the John Duff who granted this charter 
of alienation, whole brother to one of the John Dulls who witnessed it, 
uncle to tlic John Duff who received it, Avhilc his relationsliip to the other 
John who witnessed it is imexplaincd. 

Before dealing witli Adam Duff of Clunybcg- himself, we must consider 
the last John Duff of the elder IMuldavit line, who was presumably his 
great-nephcyv, and died in 1718, when the headship of the family passed 
to the heirs of Adam. 

• There is a portrait by Jamesonc, erroneously described in Lord Fife's catalogue as John 
Duff of Muldavit and his sister, which must, from the date of painting, represent Andrew and 

" Adam Duff, who will be treated of in chapter iv., did not own the estate of Clunybeg, 
but merely had a wadset of it, and was therefore properly dcsrrilied as in tliis place; but his 
name occurs so often in conlciiiporary records as Adam of (^hniybcf; that it sutms simpler lo 
allude lo hiui by this title. 

oe rnr/TT TTVArr.T^TT/r .tttt to tvit 



According to Biiird, John Dui'l', tentli and last of Muldavit, and his wife 
Isabel Allan had one son, ' John Duff, who settled in Trade in Aberdeen, 
and got a charter from that town to John Duff, merchant and bui-ges of 
Aberdeen, upon the " sun " ^ half of the Lands of Corghall (IJoghoill) ' 
(Hainl). There ivas a John Duff, burgess of Aberdeen at this period, and 
the following points about him are incontestable, but his actual parentage 
is a matter of uncertainty, bej'ond the well-ascertained fact that he was 
not the son of John Duff of the Oreiiard and Isabel Allan. He had a 
charter on the lands of liogholl. May '2fi, l(>22," and had a house in Old 
Al)erdecn until December 22, l(i25 (Hose), and on June 3, 1042, 
executed the following ' Renunciation by John Duf, burges of Aberdeen, of 
20/- lands of Maldavat with lands of Auehingallan and teinds ' : 

* Me, Jhonc Duff, portioncr of Borghoill, burges of Aberdeen, forsamcikle as 
John Duff elder of MaUluvit and Jhone Duff liar thairof his eldest laufull sonc 
and Issobcll Allanc spouse to said Jhonc Duff fiar of Cruigheid be anc dis- 
positionc of dait 4 Aug. 1023 sauld . . . to me, my aires etc. . . . thair twcntie 
schilling land of Muldavet, etc. . . . and because tlie said Jhonc Duff younger 
fiar of Craigheid hes pay it ... to mc the forsaid sowmc of 2400 markis money 
. . . thairforwitye nic to have rcnuncit, etc. ... at Aberdeen, 1 .June, 1G24.' 

John Duff, merchant, burgess of Aberdeen, is found granting obliga- 
tions and bonds in 1032, 1G31, 1035, 1038, and 1040 {Abodrcn Kccor(h-). 

Another fact about him to be found in the records of the period is 
that in 1021 John Duff, biu-gcss in Aberdeen, entered a eomj)Iaint against 
Janet Duff, wife to Andrew Kcllie,'' for violence and assault. And in 1031 
a counter complaint is recorded on the part of Andrew Kcllie for ' illegal 
warding,' John Duff having ' bought bonds over the complainer's head and 
holding him now, in respect of them. John Duff not apj)earing, Kcllie is 

' i.e. the south. 

' Baird could scarcely have been aware of the date of tliis charter, for any son of Jolin 
Duff and Isabel Allan could have been, at most, three years old in this year. 
' Mentioned in Charter of Alienation i6i8, quoted in last chajjler. 


lil)cralc<l {Privy Council liccnrds of Scollaud). ' Jolm Duff, burgess of 
Ahcrdccn (prohiil^iy the son of the kist-namcd Jolm Diil'f, wIiuLevcr liis 
("Xiict rcliitionsliip to tlic last owner of MiildaviL), married Margaret 
Johnstown (Sheriff Court Records, 1(;38), and died in ] G72, leaving one sou 
Jolm, who may be identified with the following Jolm, of Baird's history : 

' John Duff, a lawyer at Aberdeen, a man very mueh esteemed in his 
life, being one of great honour and honesty, of extraordinary good parts 
and a faeelioiis and agreeable comjianion. lie married a comely, graceful 
gentlewoman named Innes. He engaged in tiie rebellion of 1715, and was 
very zealous in that cause, by which being obnoxious to the government, 
he sle|)t over to Holland in the beginning of 171U, where he soon fell into a 
large aeciuaintance and was trealeil by them ail with the greatest civility 
and kindness. There lie laid himself out to serve all his young countrymen 
who came ovir to the continent in the course of their travels and upon 
mercantile and other private affairs, lie died at Ilotterdam in 1718, 
uni\irsaily rcgretlrd. IIi' left no issue.' As regards the earlier ancestors 
• if the Duff fiuuily, iJaird's statements nuist be received with great caution, 
\\\•^ avowcil object beiiig to establish the continuity of the line, but this 
Jului Duff died when IJaird was seventeen years old, and the facts of his 
life may Ik- presumed to be reliable., A historically interesting letter from 
thii John Duff to his cousin, William Gordon (of Farskane), is among the 
King's .MS.S. at \Vindsor : 

' Rotterdam, Ocl. 12, 171C. 

' 1 fad I not thought to have been with you before this, I had not been so long 
in writing, hut if Will Drummond jDassed your way he nuist have given you an 
aeeount of my being here, as we came together from Scotland to Bergen, and 
thence to Amsterdam. I had gone forward, but by all the advices from our 
master's doers to gentlemen in my eireumstanecs, I find no invitation, provided 
We are safe where we are, which we have hitherto, but how long that may con- 
tinue God knows, as in the last two Dutch eourants it is said that the English 
court ha\e ordered their resident at the Hague to give in a memorial to the 
States-Ck'neral, either to demanil the j)ersons of the gentlemen in this coiuitry, 
or that they will order their removal from their country. What answer this may 
get time will determine, but next what 's to be feared is that G[eorgeJ is to be 
in ])erson at the congress, a,nd how far he may prevail is not known. I shall do 
as others in my eireumstanecs, till I get your advice. I understand our master 
is like to allow all the gentlemen who escaped, reasonable subsistence according 
to their posts. I had the honour to be one of the last in the field and garrison 

' 'I'licrc was also a John Duff, merchant in Aberdeen, son o£ James Duff, in CuUen (Rose 
MS.), therefore cousin to John and Isabel. But John has always lieen a common uame in 
this as in other famihcs. 


for his fallKT, unci was taken oiil of Ihc of I''((l(l(.'rii.l * witli Lord Ficn- 
clraiiglil, wlio t'oiunianilcd Uu- irgiuiuiiL ul l'"<)oLgnards in wliicli 1 was Capluiii, 
and siiffcivd ^'2 nionllis ini[)iisonnicnt. I lca\f it Lo Lhc Dnkc of IMar and my 
noble iKiiron, llu- Karl Marcschal, to inform His Majesty what service I did in 
the late unfortniiate design. As I know you have much to say about the sub- 
sistence allowed to gentlemen in our circumstances, I entreat you to endeavour 
to get me an eipial share according to my station. I sliould iiavc been one of 
the last to have accepted any such favour were it not that all my effects arc 
stopped by Government, and my poor wife put from her lodgings. Had I not 
been supported by l»obcrt Gerrard since I came Iieri-, I slionld not have known 
what to do ' (lUsloriail MSS. Commission). 

Ill (lie Citlrndar of Sliuiri Papers, v. 'JUO, occurs the I'oliowing : 
' William (;oid()M (ol'l-'inskane) to tlic JJuke olMar. I'uris, Dec. 21, 1717. 
Poor John Duff's wile is dead at Rottenhuri, and her burial charges will 
be hard on him in this winter season, if His Majesty is not pleased to allow 
liini something.' 

And the Ivosc papers give the following account of liis death : 
' John Duff the heir, nuulc a niereliant in Aberdeen, faileil ujion 1700, 
was a messenger,'- ho engaged iu 1715, Avent to Holland, where Irvine of 
Cults saw him in the beginning of 1716. Mr. Forbes, Balbithan, told me 
he was drowned returning with Taylor of Boyndie in 1718, and both their 
bodies got clasped with a rope and an oak j)lank. Hoyndic, in life, got on 
the shore of Musselburgh, retained tlie black mark of the log on liis head, 
but Duff drowned. He married Jane Innes (her name was really Anna), 
daughter of Thomas Innes, Chamberlain to the Earl of Panmuir of the 
lands of Belhelvie.' Mr. Alexander Mitchell, sometime minister of Bclhelvie, 
and afterwards of Old Aberdeen, was married to another sister. Christian,' 
and the thinl sister, Elizabeth, married, on November 7, 1700, Mr. John 
Maitland, minister of Skene ; .lohn Duff, messenger in Aberdeen, being a 
witness,* so, presumably, he was already married to the sister of Elizabeth, 
while at the date of tlic Aberdeenshire roll-Booh^ lie is described as ' John 
Duff, messenger, for iilmself, no wife or child.' The Jacobite John Duff xvas 
at one time a messenger in Aberdeen as Avell as a lawyer, and the acknow- 
ledged cousin of Clunybeg's grandsons, as will be seen by his letters, infra. 
Baird would now take us at once i'roni this John of Rotterdam to Adam 

' In Aberdeensliirc, near New Deer, originally Fcdcraught. 

" A messenger, or King's Messenger, at that period was an oflicer of the law-courts whose duty 
it was to serve writs anil execute other legal business. A messenger ' at arms ' was further 
an ollicial under the control ol the Lyon King of Arms, and was charged with the delivery of 
letters of horning, letters ol diligence, and signet letters. 

* This was July iS, 1699. ' Udhelvic Pityis/t Records. ' Dale 1696. 



of Clunybcg, whom lie calls liis uncle,' thus : ' This woitliy man had no 
issue, and as the posterity of the late John ])uff of Muldavit by his lirst wife 
Isabel Allan ended in him, the rejjresentation came next to the heirs of 
Adam Duff of Clunybcg, his son by his second wife, Margaret Gordon, 
Cairnburrow's daughter.' This descent is obviously impossible, as John 
Duff, husband of Isabel Allan, had no second wife, his lirst having out- 
lived him, for she appears in the CuUeii Court Books in 1C37, ten years after 
his death, as ' relict of umqull John Duff.' Moreover, Margaret Gordon of 
Cairnburrow was his grandmother. 

John Duff and Isabel Allan ditl, without doul)t, have a son Andrew, 
and a daughter Janet, who, in 1672, when Andrew was dead, is described as 
' daughter of the deceased John Duff of the Orchard, sometime of JIuldavit, 
and whose eldest brother was Andrew Duff, sometime of the Orchard, and 
air or aj^peirand air of lync to her said brother, father and good sjre, also 
that John Duff in Old Aberdeen was appeii'and air maill to John Duff his 
father, John Duff his good syre and cousin-german to Janet Duff.' - 

The most likely presentment of this tangle is as follows : 

'Mk.' JOHN DUFF(n). 

.Toliii Duff (b), 
m. AgiicB (_iortIon. 

.John Duff (c), 
Di. iHalicI AILin. 

John Duff (tZ), 

{my bntlhcr-gcrmini). AVilncss in lIUS, 

and aftcrwarila of Koghole, 1021. 


John Duff (c), 

merchant and burircss in Aljerdccn. 

Adam Duff of 


Alexander of 

William of 

John Duff of Hottcrdam (/), 
died 1718. 

William of 

Alexander of 

but it involves a loose use of cousin-german as covering second cousin, and 
is open to possible objection.-' John Duff of Bogholc and John Duff of 
llotterdam are, however, both frequently described by Rose (as well as 
by Baird) as the 'heirs of Muldavit,' and Rose was an industrious and care- 
ful genealogist. lie gives a great many references (but without authorities) 
to John Duff of Bogholc, .lohn Duff, merchant in Aberdeen, .lohn Duff, 
messenger in Aberdeen, and John Duff, wjio died in Rotterdam, as heirs and 
representatives of Muldavit. 

' But llicy were in reality two generations apart. 
' CiillcH Court lIuoUs. 

' The cousin-german to Janet in 1672 might have been Jolin Duff the merchant, called 
(t ) in tlic above table — cousin-german to her father. 


Tlic Lwu Inrnicr and also t lie two latter lie ahvdijs assuines to l)e the same 
persons, being ajjparently not aware tliat there had been more than one 
' messenger ' oC that name in Aberdeen at the period, one of whom was a 
near and intimate relative of William of Dipplc and Alexander of Drummuir, 
and that two of them, strange as it may appear, married women of the name 
of Anna Innes. 

Janet, the daughter of John Duff and Isabel Allan, married one Stephen, 
and had a son Alexander Stephen, after whose death the line was extinct. 
The Orehard crofts were in possession of Janet, who sold them to Alexander 
Johnstown, and they were subsequently bought by William, Provost of 
Inverness, third son of Adam of Clunybeg. Neither Janet, the heir of line, 
nor her cousin John, the heir-male, was accepted as representing her 
grandfather John of MuUlavit (doubtless because the pro])erty had Ijcen 
sold), i'or in 1G70, in a note of the mortifications given up by the minister 
of Cullen, we find ' Observe this, hence, that since the' airs of John Duff of 
Muldavit arc not to be found, the bailie and community of Cullen are un- 
doul)led ])alrons.' This presumably refers to the bequest of Helen Hay, 
mentioned above. The passage is triumphantly quoted by Dr. Cramond to 
prove that the family of Muldavit died out com])letely, but according to his 
own showing, and by the evidence of the same Cullen books, it had not, at 
any rate in that year, yet died out — it had merely ceased to be of Muldavit. 

The history of the direct line of Duffs of Muldavit and Craighead, 
then, may be taken as completely authenticated between the limits of llOi 
and 1718, after which the representation passed to the descendants of 
Adam, a younger son. The identification and history of the last repre- 
sentative of the elder line presents some difficulty, and is complicated by the 
fact that there were, as has been said, apparently two, if not three, John 
Duffs, messengers in Aberdeen, in the latter half of the seventeenth century. 

In a record ^ in the Lyon Olfice, Edinburgh, there is a brief note that 
' John Duff, IMcssenger at Arms, Aberdeen, died rich, 1700. His fortune 
went to Braco.' Sup))osing (as is most likely) the 1700 to be a clerical 
error for 17IH, the .John DulT of KoLlerdam who died in liiat year 
seems to have left whatever he diil leave, besides the shadowy headship of 
the family, to ' Braco,' that is, William of Dip|)le and Braeo, whose son was 
afterwards Lord Braco, and first I^ord l''ife. The ' Braeo ' of 1700 would 
have been Alexander of Braco (died ] 70.5), who never appears to have made 
any claim to the headship of the family, being content with becoming the 
largest landowner." 

• In MS. 

' TIlis extract, tlicrcforo, is of no great vaUic, beyond liaviiif; lidpcil the present historians 
to establish the fact that the ' messenger ' of tlie Aberdeen Polt-liooli, 1O96, was of the Muldavit 
family — a fact already known to William Rose, and abuudautly proved by many letters. 

nr or. 



Tlic Jolin Duff, mcsscTif^cr, who was the ixlation and correspondent of 
Williiiiri of l)i|)j)l(; and Alexander ol' Drtinnniuir, was cerl.aiidy alive until 
1718, as letters and papers are in existence IVom liini, hearinj^' dates uj) lo 
that year, and one, of the year 1715, to William of Ui])i)le, is docketed as 
' last letter from John Duff, Messenger ' (i.e. before he went to Holland), 
all of which goes to jirovc that 1700 should read 1718. 

The facts collected by William Rose as to the John Dui'f, messenger, 
called by him ' the heir ' are briefly these : 

' John Duff, King's Messenger, admitted Burgess of Aberdeen, Sept. 22, 

' John Duff, the heir of Middavit, made a merchant in Aberdeen, ^ 
failed upon 1700, and was a messenger. He engaged in the 1715 and went 
to Holland ' — (this i'olloM'cd by the account of his death). 

' For John Duff's appointment as messenger, see William Gordon of 

The Dnmimuir papers throw further light upon the matter by an 
agreement between John Duff, messenger in Aberdeen, and William doidon 
of Avoehic, bcJbre John Gordon of Davidston, date March 1, 1G9.'5. This 
agreement is witnessed by 'George and ]?obert Duffs, Ijrothers to John,' 
but no other mention of them has been foimd. 

There is another note to the effect that Jolni Duff, messenger 
in Aberdeen, prepai'cd the sasinc for William Gordon of Farskane, 

And the following letters, which conclusively prove the near relation- 
shi)) of John Duff to Alexander of Drummuir and AVilliam of Dijjple, 
(If the table on p. 29 be accepted, they were all second cousins.) 

The first seven letters come from the archives of Duff House, now pre- 
served at Montcoi'fer. They show John Duff not only in his business 
ca])acity, but also as offering, in his house in Aberdeen, a shelter for all the 
young sons of his second cousins while pursuing their education at the 
University tlierc. Another letter on the same subject will be found in 
the Drummuir chapter, xxiv. 

' It seems probable lo tlic present: writers Ihc John Duff of (lie '15, ' nitsseriRer,' and 
correspondent of the family, was never a mereluint, but was always engaged in legal business, 
as he seems to have been the recognised man of business both for Dipple anil Drummuir prior 
to 1700 (see his letters both in this chapter and in chapter ix.), and was a messenger when he 
became a burgess in 1684. William Rose seems to be contusing Jolm with his own fatlicr, 
another John, who was a merchant, though it is impossible to pronounce with certainty as to 
Mhicli o( tlie Muldavit family was liis father. 


Juhn Ihijf, i\Ic.<!xcn<irr in AJjcrdccn, in his coii.rin William Duff of Dipplc 

'Ann., 0/A Jun;/. 1702. 
' Cusin, Silt, — I hade youvs from J. Lonoway whereby you alleadge 
your lia\'iin<^ pressing use for money at Vld"' wliieli has oblklgcd me to add to 
it GOO m'" I wrott you of iu my letter to Mr. Robert ffrasers eair others to make 
up 50 lb. Starr — but cane gett noe Bill for the samen as the Uearcr Bailie Forbes 
cane informe mc. In case the money be disposed of acquaint me of it first and 
I '11 remitt it for post but if you cane gett the money in Edin'' for value then 
it will be better both for you and I. But for the rest you cane not expect it at 
Candlemas considering my havcing cleard with Laid)' Spynie at this terme but 
agt Whyt Sonduy you may. I wish you a happy new year and am. Sir, Your 
most affectionate Cusine to serve you, Jo. Duff.' 

William Duff of Braco to John Duff 

'Kalvknie, 9//i Ju/;/ 1712. 

' Dear Sir, — I have sent this bearer for to get my papers from Mr. Charles 
Gordon. 1 dcsyre 3'ou may give him a crown per sheet because he is my 
mother's ^ relation, and buy powder and shot with the rest, cause buy the lead 
of ane good ordinaire sysc for moorfouls I intreat you sec what you can doe with 
Edntoire and if you can gett but seven hunder mcrks in all I would discharge 
him of Mrs. Laws debt but not of my debt as Superior, for that is a seperate 
claimc. I hope you will doe what you can for mc as to my mcall. I can dispose 
of 1000 Bolls att five merks, and would not seek mony till Whitsunday next, 
only I would have a good debitor and acquaint mc before you conclude. 1 
give my service to your selfe and Ladic and I am. Dear Cusine, Your most 
humble Servant, William Duff.' - 

JoJin Duff, Messenger, Aberdeen, to the Laird of Dipplc 

' AiiKUDKiiN, 21 Jan. 1713. 

'Di'.Ait l")iPPi.F., — I havcyour very angry letter ancnt your sone, which is truely 
very grounilless. It 's time I have given him a suit of honest eloathes which as 
your sone I think he ought to have. But nothing of vanity about him as you 
may depend ont that their is nothing about the youth But good sober inclina- 
tions and whatever I may bestow on him for his education which shall be also 
good as this place cane affoard. You shall in the event have noe ground to 
grudge, and therefor I 'd have you be easy for you know its a pretty whyll since 
you promised you would send your sone to mc to be my pupill and was not to 

* Margaret Gordon of Lcsinoir. 

• This William Diilf dicil in 1718 in the same year as John. Sec chapter viii. 

iv i3:i)( 


controll aney thing I sliould happen to bestow o!i liis educatione, and now that 
I 'm in posscssionc doe not resolve to pairt with him until! he is caj)al)Ie of satisfy- 
ing you that by his improvement you siiall vow all Weill bestowd and that tiieir 
is nothing eitlier j)rodugall or j)roruse about him. I give our hearty service to 
your self, Laidy, and family, and I continue, Dear Dipple, Your most affectionat 
Cusine to serve youe, Jo. Duff.^ 

' To the much Honored The Laird of Dipple.' 

Willi am Duff, ajlenvards Lord liraco, lo Iris fiilhcr the Laird of nipple 

'Add., Aprili; 21, 1713. 

'Sir, — I thank you for your affectionat letter. I bless God I am perfectly 
well recovered, and as I formerly wrote you was waric much oblidged to my 
cousin and his bedfellow ^ for theire care about me. I would have returned you 
ansurc sooner but we have been warie busie befor the riseing of our Coledge. 
My Cousin hath cleared my phisitian and I belive you will not find I have been 
aniewise extravagant in my pocatmony, for all I have received from Mr. Scott 
is but wary smal. Our Coledge is not as yet given up, but will in a short time. 
I refer you to what my cousin wrot in his last conserning me and with my humble 
duty to yourself my mother in law ^ is all at present. Sir, Your affect, and most 
obedient Son, \V,\i. Duff.' 

' To the Laird of Dipple at Elgin.' 

The same to the same 

' AlIKIlDEKN, \itll MuiJ 17)3. 

' Sin, — You sec by my Cousins letter and Jlr. Scot's that I have had a fever 
some days bygone but am now, blessed be God pretty well recovered, and lest 
you should be aniewise surprised notwithstanding of the other letters, I have 
sent you this from my own hand. I caimot express how nuieh I am bound to 
my cousin and his bedfellow for the unspeakable concern and care they hade of 
me. I expect to hear from you by the next post. I offer my service to my mother 
in law. Sir, your most aft' and obedient son, VVm. Duff.' 

' Tlio dilfcrcnl ways of signing tlic name John Dull are curious, and have been of great help 
in dcahng with llic vast mass of family corrcspomlcuce. For though a man's handwriting 
alters with advancing age, he rarely changes the contraction of his Christian name, or the form 
of liis capital letters. 

- There is an otherwise uninteresting letter to William of Dipple, about liis son, signed by 
J<i1mi Dull ami Anna Inncs, his wife. This |)rovcs the curious point as lo two John Dulls 
h.iving married wives of the same name, for the other Anna Inncs was ' relict ' of her John 
Dulf seventeen years before this date (sec Foil-Book and page 37). 

' i.e. stepmother. ♦ Aged sixteen. 



John Duff, l\Icsse7>iier, Aberdeen, to the Laird of Dipple ^ 

' Anr.EtDKKN, I7//1 -3/(1.1/ 1714. 
'DeauSir, — I accknowlcdge that I am mighticlyin thewrongin not returning 
you anc answer to your last wliieh was mcerly oceusioned bj' the Lortlcs and 
tlieir advoeats being in this place of wlioni I did not gett free till Saturday last. 
As to your sons clearing with Mr. Smith you cannot say he has been any wayes 
extravagant Being he has not exceeded What was given the last year : which 
with the two ginies you gave me to be given that way is only liall anc ginie more 
and realy even in this he tells me he is behind with his eomorads ; and I have 
no mind to cross him, for I never knew him extravagant in any thing. I am 
hopefull to make ane haill saill bargan of the bear I bought in Murray and that 
free of any risck or Charges and for mj' meall, I am hopefull it will ])rove no ill 
bargane being that the meall begins to start both here and in tlic South firth 
and I have my barek takeiiig in the firsth of her Lodeing att Doun \]\Iacduff] just 
now from which place she is to sail to Portsoy and I believe will be their about 
the midle of this week of which I have aetpiainted the Lady Glengerrick and 
Mrs. Ivobcrtsones to have their meall in readyness that so the barck may not be 
detained. I am sory I cannot answer your demandes att this term but I am 
hopefull be as it will to gett you cleared againest the next — your sonc and 
governor are in very good health. Pleas accept of my hearty service to your- 
self and I continue, Dear Sir, Your most affeetionat Cousine and humble servant, 

Jo. DuiF.' 

The same to the same 

'Abd., 21 .//(/// 1714. 

'Dear Sir, — On Wednesday last your son Will: rcturncil to (his place from 
his milk dyet, which blessed be God hese agreed very weel with him. Albeit 
it luse not given him any more beef then what he luul befor but he is jjerfectly 
liealthy and weel and I hope will prove as pretty a man as is his name which att 
meeting you will discover and I hope you will be no worse as your word in 
comeing this length to see him after your Ladies being brought lo btd to whom 
I wish ane safe and hajipy delivery." 

'According to your desire I ha\'c sent you ane sett of Cujis ane containing 
anc Chapin for a tost, ane mutchkin cup and anc half mutchkin which arc the 
bonniest sett I have seen in this place for a long time but we have no Copper 
Smiths for niakeing of copjier girths prc)i)er for them but you will find when you 
receive them they deserve silver. Your son told me he was to write you by this 

' It will be seen in the chapter on William of Dippic that lie alan was at one time in Kotlcr- 
dam, [jresiimably vi.siliiii,' his cousin (anil tonncr man <il hiisincss ami corrcspomlont). a(Ur the 
latlor's enforced (Icpaitiiic from Scotland. 

' Birth of Mary, afterwards wife of General Alicrcromby. 


post to which I refer. My wife and I give our humble duty to your Ladic self 
and family and I couLinue, Dear Sir, Your most affccLioniiL Cousin and humble 
servant, ^ ,^ j, ^^^ _ Jo- DufI''-' 

Letters from among Drmnmuir papers. {Docketed 'from John Duff, 

' Abkudkkn, Dec. 14, 1700. 

' To the Much honoured, the Laird of Drunmiuir. 

' lioNOUKED Sir, — This day about 12 o'clock, I received yours with dis- 
ehaifije and renuneiaLion of ffarskane to Gordon of Davidslon, and your saisine 
of tlie lands of Da\idston and Tliorniebank, \vhich aecordiny Lo order I had duly 
registi'at, and in as great liaist as I could, albeit you may think the expense dear 
enough, the receipt whereof you have, eneld, which as you '11 sec amounts lo 
£21., whereof received £14. 10. 0. so for the balance j'ou may renu't with con- 
veniency. Your servant was in so great haist that it was not ])ossible to get the 
registers looked for, and what eneumbrances are against that i.stale, and like- 
ways I find them somewhat dear, being they will not look back 20 ytars neillier 
for seasines, inhibitions nor hornings imder 2 or 3 dollars so that till your furtlicr 
order, I don't resolve to give them the trouble. I cannot omitt to tell you that 
I arrested Arradoull in Tolbooth of Banff, after incarceraing of him at another's 
man's instance, which I think is easier than apprehending him at yours, Jiowcver, 
doc in the matter as seems you good. I shall take cair to aetjuaint you how soon 
I come to Banffshire and shall be ready to receive your commands which shall 
be as far obeyed as in my power. This, with my humble service to your father, 
self, lady and all friends with you, is the present from your most affectionate 
cusinc and servant, Jo. Duff.' 

To the same 

'AiticnnKKN, 28 Dec. 1700. 

' Sir, — I have yours just now Avith £12. 10 in the same, and shall take care to 
cause look both registers of sasines, inhibitions and hornings for the year you 
write of, but it is not possible lo get it done of hand, being we have as yet Christ- 
mas vaeance here, but shall cause doe Ihem as soon as possible. Be the by I 
cannot omitt to tell you that your predecessor is a little out of the road to me,i 
having depursed some money for him, which put him in eireumstances too 
common with you, so that I trust if be anything yet in your hands you 'II help 
till I be clear of him. Notwithstanding I llrmly purpose to be at liim with 
personal diligence. This is written at a bottle, so that I hope you '11 excuse any 
escapes [sic\ and shall only conclude with my respects to your fair self, lady and 
family wishing you a happy New Year, but that I am, sir, your most affectionate 
cousin to serve you, Jo. Duff. 

' This again shows legal business as having been transacted by John ior his relatives and 
others prior to 1700. 


, To the same 

' AllKllDKKN', I!l A /I. I7fll. 

'Sir, — My being so long at Edinburgli has retarded the note of iiihibiLioiis 
etc. which 1 should have sent you from our registers against Davidston which 
herein receive and am hopeful will yet come in good time, otherwise I fear may 
come to loss betwixt him and I. being you are the only foundation for my clear- 
ing. Albeit what he owes me is but small, yet I intend to have if possible, with 
your friendship, upon which I very much rely. I think of being in Murray in a 
very short time, where I am hopeful to see ye and all my friends in Inverness 
at which time shall write no more of particular, but service to your fair lady and 
family, not forgetting your own. — I am, sir, your most affectionate cousin and 
servant, Jo. Duff.' 

* To the much honoured, the Laird of Drummuir at Inverness. 

' AnKiiDEEN, Mar. 20, 1 702. 

' Sir, — It is none of my fault your Sasine is not yet sent you, but then I beg 
excuse for the trouble. And would beg you to have this bill discounted for me 
as it is j)ayable in your town of Inverness, and what expenses you are at on the 
head sliall be thankfully paid you at meeting, which with my service to yourself. 
Lady,' Mistress Anne ^ and family, not forgetting the old gentleman,^ is all at 
present from sir, your most affectionate cousin, Jo. Duff.' 

In 1709 in a mortification by Margaret Gordon, widow of Alexander of 
Braco, of a sum of money for Aberdeen College, the right of ' supporting 
it,' goes first to William Duff of Braco, her son, and then to John Duff, 
messenger in Aberdeen, and William of Dipple. 

In Ajiril 1711 William Duff of Dipple writes to the Lady Glcngeraek : 
' Affectionate Niece, I have disposed of the meal I bought from you to our 
Cousin John Duff in Aberdeen.' 

Tiierc is also a letter from John re the ' good and sudieient oat meal at 
8 stone per boll.' 

A man who may be the same 'John Duff, messenger in Aberdeen,' is 
fr('<|uciilly referred to in the Aberdeen SlieriJ]' Court Bmiks. 

In 1080 an obligation is granted to liim by one Menzies. 

In 16S1 nnotlier by one Hay, another by Ahiekie, and another by Ci iiiksliank. 

In ICS.'J one by Lunisden, one l)y Gordon of 'Jerpersie, and one by Alex. I'yfe. 

In 1710 .lohii Duff, 'i\rmiger,' Aberdonia, acts for George Mowut in the 
negotiation for tlie sale of Balquholly (Ilatton). 

The title Arniiger, which is equivalent to Es(|., shows John Duff to have 
been a man of gooil family. 

' K.illnMitic Diifl of DriMiuiuiir, 1)1)1 ri i()i)i). 

- I Icr clilfst ilauglilcr, uKoiwarils Lady Rlackiiitohli, born i68^, and married 1702. 

^ Provobt William, aged seventy, born 1O32, died 1715. 


Tlioiiirli it is (]iiil.c possil)1c fo idcntiTy llic Jolin Duff of llie Icllcrs jiiid 
.lolm Duff of tlic ShcriJI' ('oui i Books, as well us In: who ' died rich in 17()<), 
wliosc foiLuiic woiiL to Braco,' wiLh Btiird's Jolin, ' who died in Rotterdam 
in 1718,' and Rose's 'who was drowned on tlie coast at Musselburgh in the 
same year,' it is at any rate certain that there was another John Duff, 
whose widow is tims noted in the Aberdeenshire Poll-Book, 1G9G : ' Anna 
Innes, relict of John Duff, messenger, her daughter Janat, servants 
Elizabeth Gray and Elspit Mitchell.' She occurs among the pollable 
persons within the burgh of Aberdeen, rated 'at £G yeirly ' each.^ 

The John Duff who afterwards married Anna Innes of Relhclvic, and 
died in 1718, is undoubtedly referred to, in the same volume, as ' John Duff, 
messenger, for liimself, no wife nor child, ane servant, James Ritchie, 
£6 yeirly. While, in tlie same roll, his future wife appears under ' Thomas 
Innes, factor to the earl of Panmure ... 6s. for ilk ane of his daughters in 
familia, viz : Christane, Elizabeth and Anna Innes.' - 

As it is obvious that the Duff stock in Aberdeen, in so far as it Avas 
connected with IMuldavit, died out early in the eighteenth century, it is 
perhaps unnecessary to endeavour to pursue it further. 

' Tliis must be the John Dull and Anna Innes llic births of whose children are founrl in 
the Aberdeen Kegislers : 

1677, EUzabeth ; 1679, Robert ; 1680, Marjorie ; 1683, Thomas. 

' Other puzzles in the Aberdeenshire Poll-Book (a vahiable record of the time) may also be 
placed here. 

' George Duff, gentleman tenncnt in Old Overtone, parish of Belhelvic, payes his propor- 
tion of his mother's valovationc, £\. 7. 8, but being classed as a genUeman it is not to be payed 
— but ^3 as ane gentleman— 6s. for himself and 6s. for his wyfe.' It may be supposed that this 
George was the brother George, witness, in 1692, to signature of John Duff messenger, who also 
at one time lived, or at least married, in Belhelvie; but nothing more is known of liim. (John 
Dull in Lochlands of Belhelvie is mentioned in the Aberdeen Sherijf Court Records). 

A disposition is granted to tliis George Dulf, Old Overtoune of Belhelvie, in 1694, and his 
marriage with Agnes Montgomery, relict of the deceased Andrew Milne of Old Miln of Fovcran, 
is noted in the Aberdeen Sheriff Court Books on October 4, 1721, and is ap/mrcnlly witnessed 
by John Dulf, messenger in Aberdeen. But this may be a mistake, as in the next entry, refer- 
ring to George Dull and Agnes Monlgomery his spouse, reference is made to Ihe ' <leccased John 
Dull, messenger in Aberdeen,' who granted a bail-bond to the above George in Novcndjer 1704. 

Also in the Poll-Booh arc to be found William Duffes, tcnent in Turrillc, with wyfe and 
sone and John Dulles, tenant in Mill of Dalgaty. 

James Duffes in Kaincs of Blacktoune, King Edward. 

William Duties, tennent in Balmade, King Hdward. 

It is perhaps possible to connect these latter with the present family of Bruntyards, King 

In the same list we find John Dulf, shoemaker, no wife, child, nor servant. He may be 
identified with a John Dulf, cordincr in College Bounds, of whom we have record in 1681, but 
that docs not, of course, show whether he was any relation to either of the messengers or to 
either of the John Dulls, burgesses ol Aberdeen. 



ADAM DUFF or Clunybeh, 1500-1674, ni. 1. Jlurray of Milej;(iii ; in. -'. Heatrix Gordon. 

I I 

INfargarct, m. G. GcdilcH. 

Alexnnilor John of 

of Keilliniore, Eowmakcllach, 
lIHS-lfinO. ir.U-l-hcforc IfiSf) 

Alexaiulcv of IJraco, 



■\ViIliani of Hiuc.i, 





I II II M " I I 

AVilliam of George of Jamca. Tlmmas. Hcl™ 

Invcrneaa, Kdindiacb. Andrew. l*cter. .Jran, 

1(132-1715. Adam. 

Williain of Dipple, 



Williain, Lord llraco, 

and first Karl Fife, 


Patrick of Craigaton, 

Thirty-aix cliildrcu. 

Jamos, second Earl, 



Alexander, third Earl, 

Jamea, fourth Earl, 


Sir Alexander, 

Jamea, fifth Earl, 



Alexander W. G., aixtli Earl and firat Duke, 



Alexandra, Ducheaa of Fife, 1801. 

'I'liK rolation.sliip of AiLini Duff in Clunyhcg' to tlic I'aniily ol" Muldavit, was 
long a moot point. The only previous lamily historian, as has been seen, 
made him the son of the last John Duff of the Orehard, by a mythieal 
second wile, but this relationship, which is im]iossible on the face of it, as 
a mere matter of dates, is completely disproved by the entries in the Cullen 
Court Books,' and the refutation of it was set forth, with much acerbity, 
in an article which appeared in the Scotsman at the time of the marriage 
of the late DiiUc of Fife to I'rincess Louise of Wales in 1889, which article 

' Correctly so described, as being a tenant, but also ollen called 'of Clunybcg," uide infra. 
' rirat brought to light by Dr. Cranioud in itlSj. 


III traded, as it was meant to do, a good deal of notiee and has had some 
wciglit, II]) to tlic present <Jay, with pedigi'ee writers an<l eonipilers of 
peerages. But it Avent a Httle too far, in trying to prove that tiie Duff 
family had no ancestors, and later researches have firmly established the 
pedigree of Adam Dulf, so that the sneers about the ' i'atherless Adam ' 
have now quite lost their jioint. Dr. Cramond was so anxious to show 
that the duke's ancestor was not the son of that particular John Duff, 
tenth and last of Muldavit, married in IGIS to Isabel Allan, who certainly 
never had a second wife called Margaret Gordon, that he wished to show 
(and seemed to think he had shown) at the same time, the impossibility of 
any connection between Adam in Clunj'beg and the Muldavit family. 
This is not established. In fact, it is now certain that there was clear 
descent, and the elder line having died out in John of Rotterdam in 1718,^ 
it was fully allowed at the time that the descendants of Adarh did represent 
the family, though they were originally only cadets thereof. The inscrip- 
tion on the tomb of Alexander, son of Adam, erected in Mortlach church, 
stating that he was so descended, apjiears to have been unchallenged at 
the time, and arms were granted to him in 167G as being ' lineally de- 
scended from the famiU' of Moldavid and Craighead,' and the note appended 
to this, in the roll-book in the Lyon Ollicc, Edinburgh (of which Cramond 
made so much) ' in a different but appaicntly contemporary hand ' to the 
effect that ' there is good reason to believe that he is not the representer of 
Craighead,' proves nothing against his relationship, for, of course, while 
John of Rotterdam lived, he was not ' the representer.' - 

It has now been proved that, instead of being the son of John Duff of 
the Orchard, who married Isabel Allan, Adam Duff of Clunybeg, father of 
Alexander Duff of Keithmore, was the uncle of the said John, the Adam 
mentioned in the last chapter as one of the eleven sons of ' Mr. John Duff 
of Muldavit ' (who died in 1593) and his second wife, Margaret Gordon of 
Cairnburrow. Margaret Gordon, after the death of John Duff, married 
(in ICOO) Walter Ogilvie of Auehoynany, who in 1573 had bought the 
property of Clunybeg from Patrick Gordon of Auchindoun, and her son 
Adam Duff was placed by her ' in Ardrone ' in IGll ^ and subsequently 
in Clunybeg. lie was still of Clunybeg in 1050 when his words to Margaret 

' For, whatever liis exact relation to John of the Orclianl and Isabel Allan (see lar.l chapter), 
he ondoubtedly represented an elder line than Ailani. 

- Anil there may liave been, in that year, other first cousins of Clunybeg or Keithmore, 
sons or grandsons of the olhcr elder sons of ' Mr.' John Dnff and Margaret Gordon, still alive. 
ICvon according to Haird it was not until forty-two years later (171S) that Keithmore 's son, 
William of Dipplc, was held to be ' head of the family,' or in any way ' representer of Craig- 

^ Banff Jiegiilcr of Deeds. 

no mm 

'v/ , '; ' ''J ii' 


Oiiilvic (iiis li.'iir-sislcr), married to .Tolm Sicwart. ol" Ardhrc'clc, arc quoted 
as evidence bel'ore tiie Kirk-Sessiou ol' Jiolr-ipliiiie. 'J'iicsc; I'aets were 
auLiioritativcly brouf^Iit to lij^lit by tiie Ucv. Stephen Rec, wliose discovery 
in the Botriphnic Kirk-Session Records of this strange story of the 
scandal of a buried cat, first revealed as a cerlainlij the identity of Adam in 
Ardrone with the man afterwards known as Adam of Chmybeg, father of 
Alexander of Keithmore. The evidence, being curious, is here reprinted 
in full : 

BoTniPiiNiE Kirk-Session Records 

' 12 Feb. 165G. Compcired Georg Riach in Slagrein and gave in a bill of com- 
plaint on JMarjorie Baron, bearing that the said Jlarjoric said his mother, 
Katharin Neil, in prejudice of her neighbours, buried a cat and her four feet 
upwards, and gave up witnesses. The partic and witnesses to be sumonded to 
the next day. 

' 2 March 1C5C. Compcired Marjoric Baron and being accused of the former 
slander complained on by Georg Biaeli, denyed that she said so, but only said 
that Agnes Low, spouse to .Tames Mill in Towie, said so. 

' 23 March 105C. Compcired IMarjorie Baron and gave up Agnes Low for 
author anent the business of the buried cat. Compcired the said Agnes and 
declared that Adam Duff of Clunybeg * came in on a tyme to John Stewart's 
barn quher she, the said Agnes, was winnowing with the said John Stewart's 
wife, and non present but they two, and said to Margaret Ogilvie, spouse to the 
said John Stewart and sister to him, the said Adam, " Ye cannot thrive heer, for 
they say thcr was a cat yearded - heer and her four feet upward," but named no 
man, and therefor she said it. Being posed quhat if he denyed it, slie said he 
could not, but she knew no way to prove it. The matter referred for advice to 
the presbyterie. 

' 20 April 1G5G. Anent the matter of slander . . . the minister reported 
that it was the presbyterie's advice that Agnes Low forsaid, be posed who told 
her that thcr was a cat buried and her feet uj^ward, in Little Towie. The said 
Agnes being called and posed ut supra answered that she heard Adam Duff of 
Clunybeg say to Margaret Ogilvie, spouse to John Stewart of Ardbrcek, thcr 
being non present but she, the said Agnes, that thcr was a cat buried ther etc., 
how could she thrive there. The Session concluded that the said Adam sould 
be called to come and declare the truth in that matter. 

' 29 April 163G. Reported by the minister that he had spoken with Adam 
Duff of Clunybeg anent the forcmentioned witchcraft, that the said Adam 
denyed utterlie that ever he spake any such, yea regrated that Agnes Low sould 

' II is important to note tliat lie ia here described as o/ Clunybeg. 
- Hartlied, i.e. buried. 


slander liim witli a lhiiif» she could not rimkc- (jiiL, Llial lie \v;ts willing,' lo go to 
the prcsbytcric and declare so iniicli. The Session did refer the inaLlcr Lo the 
presbytcric.' * 

The proofs of Adam Dulf of Clunybeg being the son of ' Mr.' John Duff 
of Muldtivit must be recapitulated, to show that the position of Dr. Cramond 
is no longer tenable. 

We have already seen that Adam Duff, son of ' jMr.' John Duff and 
Margaret Gordon was ' in Ardrone ' in Kill, the proof of this being an entry 
in the Banff Deed Book, where ' Adam Duff in Ardrone ' on February 2, 
IGll, grants discharge to his brother ' Mr. Patrick Duff of Darbriuche ' of 
money left him by his father after the decease of ' j\Iargaret Gordon his 
mother. Registered at Banff, September 10, 1G20.' 

And the identification of Adam Duff in Ardrone, in whom even Cramond 
was obliged to believe, on the incontestable evidence of the Cullen Court 
Books and other documents, with Adam Duff of Clunybeg, rests on two 

Firstly, on the evidence of the Balbithan MS., which says that ' of l\Ir. 
John Duff and Margaret Goi'don is come Braccho, and all the o]ndcnt sir- 
name of Duffs.' This MS., which is accepted as an undoubted authority 
on all the matters with which it deals, was of course unknown to Cramond, 
having been first published in Bulloch's House of Gordon, Spalding Club, 
1903. The approximate date of the MS. on internal evidence is 1730.- 

And secondly, on the fact that the mother of Adam Duff in Ardrone 
married, after the death of Adam's father (which occurred in 1593), Walter 
Ogilvie of Auchoynany, and had a son John Ogilvic, and a daughter 
Margaret, married in 1618 to John Stewart of Ardbreck, Adam Duff being 
procuratoi', ' Adamus Duff in Ardrone certus jDrocurator et eo nomine probe 
ancillae IMargarctc Ogilvie, filie legittimc Walteri Ogilvie de IMiltoun ' ; and 
thirty-eight years later, in 1G.5G Adam Duff of Clunybeg is mentioned in 
the Kirk-Session Records of Botriphnie (still to be read in the original), 
together with ' Margaret Ogilvie, spoiise to John Stewart in Ardbreck and 
sister to liim, the said A<lam,' wiiieh is al)S()hilely eoiiehisive that the man 
known in 1G5G to 1G71 (when he died) as Adam Duff of Clunybeg, and father 
of Alexander Duff of Keithmore was the same person as Adam Duff in 

' There is no further mention of the matter in the Session Records, and the Presbytery 
Kecorils of that period are lost. 

- It is known lo have been written subseciiicnt to 1715, as tlic !)atllc of Sheriffiniiir is 
mentioned, but tlicrc is no reference to the troubles of tlic year lyi.^. Tlic Uracclio (Ur.ico) 
referred to is tlierefore William Dulf, son of William Duff of Dip])le (who himself succeeded to 
Braco on the death of his nephew in 1718). William Duff, the son, became Lord Braco in 17.35, 
and Earl Fife in 1759. lie was the Rreat-grandson of Adam Duff of Clunybeg, and therefore 
great-great-grandson of 'Mr. ' John Dull of Muldavit aud jM.iryaret (iordou. 



AniroiU', ivnd ilicMi-rorc son of 'Mr. ' Jolm Duff of Miililavit and Marffarct 
(lOi'don ol" (..'airiihuiTow. 

A Iai-<;c amount of cviilcnfc as to tlic I'at'ts ol' Adam's descent liad been 
collected in tlie end of the eighteenth century by William Rose of Ballivat, 
lactor to Lord Fife, some of whose notes are no\v in the Advocates' Library 
Aberdeen others in Advocates' Library Edinburgh and others again in 
private hands.^ All of these liave been carefully collated by the present 
writers, and a fairly complete life history of Adam can now be compiled. 

He was certainly born in 1590, and in the following year certain 
crofts were granted by his father John Dufl' of Muldavit to his own wife, 
Margaret Gordon, in liferent, and to Adam in fce.^ This fact was used by 
Dr. Cramond to attempt to disprove the identity of this Adam with Adam, 
father of Keithmorc, who lived until 1G74, but the infcftment of children in 
the fee of estates of which the liferent was granted to other persons was, of 
course, quite usual. ^ 

There was an Andrew Duff in Clunybeg, wlio had a precept of sasine 
in 1573 which was confirmed in 1580, and a reversion upon the same 
lands granted by him in 1590 to Patrick Gordon of Aucliindoun. This 
Andrew is still imexplaincd, but he is certainly the man mentioned in the 
will of Alexander of Torriesoul 15CG (q.v.), and may be identified with the 
Andrew who witnessed a charter for Jolm, eighth of I\Iu]davit, in 15G5 (see 
jiage 18), the same Jolm witnessing one for him. lie was probably brother 
of .John the eighth. 

' Aug. 28, 1581. Ilex confirmavit cartam dicti Adanii Gordoun di Aucliin- 
doun (qua vcndidit Patricis Gordoun fratri suo, hcrcdibiis ejus cl assignatis 
masculis quibus cuiique)dictus terras tcnciul dc regc cum preccpto sasine dirteto 
Andrae Duff in Clunybeg. 

Test. Joanni Duff dc Connes (Conage in Ranncs). 
Alcxandri) Duff de Torriesoull. 
Jac. Gordon filio .Johan G. di Carnburro. 
' Apud IIunLlie, 10 April 1573 ' (h'eg. iMoi^. Sig. ScuL). 

These witnesses arc interesting as showing at least a juxtaposition of 
tlic then Clunybeg, Muldavit, and Torriesoull.' 

' See Preface. - Cranioml's Churcli of Cullen. 

'■' 11 way ill I0i2 tlial tlicsc lands were finally solil to James f.awlic, by I'atriek Duff of Dar- 
briiich, ' witli llie coiisciiL of Waller Oiilf, son of Jolm Duff of Muldavit (and therefore nepliew 
to Patrick), present prcliendary of Cullen, and with the consent of Adam Duff, hrnllier-yerman 
to PatricU Dull. 

* In tlic same year we find Alexander Duff of Corsindae appointed Dcputy-Sherilf of 
Alierdeen. Who he was we cannot ascertain. 

■.u ; 


As already staled, il is now qtiitc certain tliat, altlu)ii;>li Adam Dull' 
in Cliniybcff, who married Heatrix (Gordon of Hirkeiibinn (she iinrorUinatcly 
is not mentioned in the IJaihitlian MS. history oi" tin; (iordons), and liad 
tlic hirge family of sons known to us, was not descended I'rom tiie I'aniily ol' 
I\Inl(hivit in Ihc way slated by Baird, yet liis connection witii tiie family is 
undoubted, and tlie |)resent Duchess ol" File may, as Mr. ]}ulioeh says in liis 
Free Press article ol' May 17, 1912, trace her descent, on the DidT side, back 
at least to 1104. 

Adam Duff, then, youngest, or youngest but one, of the sons of Joim Duff 
of Muldavit and Margaret Gordon his second wife, Avas born, as has been seen, 
in 15!)0. At his death, in April 1G74, he was aged eighty-four, and it is certain 
that he was twenty-one when he executed the deed to his elder brother 
Patrick, quoted on page 19, otherwise the consent of his mother or curator 
would have been necessary, and this was in IGll. It was in that year also 
that he was ' placed in Ardrone.' (Baird, as already mentioned, j)laces his 
birth in 159S, while making him the younger son of John Duff and Isabel 
Allan, this John Duff being in reality Adam's nej)hcw, son of his half- 
brother, antl probably born a few years after him.) Baird calls Adam ' the 
Kcstorer of his family, for he was the father of a numerous offspring to 
whonr he gave a good education and good provisions, whose male de- 
scendants have most of them flourished ever since, both the stock and the 
branches. Several old men who lived within these forty years (written 
about 1770), and knew Clunybeg well, spoke of him with great regard as a 
man of strong natural sense, perfect integrity and indefatigaljle industry. 
He was a zealous Loyalist and Anti-covenanter, and was fhied by the ruling 
party (in October IGIG) 500 merks either as a malignant or for tiie malig- 
nancy of his two elder sons (who served with Montrose).' 

In the Rose MS., Advocates' Librarj', frequent reference to him is 
found : ' Maigaret Clordon, 2nd dau. of CairnbiuTow, gave to Adam her 
youngest son, the farm of Ardrone in IGll. lie was a very honest man. 
He lived in Ardrone till about 1623. About 1G57 he was not in allluent 
ciiTumslanees, as he was " taken " for £100 Scots, when his son Alexander 
was liis cautioru'r lo Andrew Hay of Darbruieh. At Ihat dale he was also 
tenant of the Mill of Auehindoun.' ' 

In the Hose MS. there is a copy of a deed signed by Adam Duff at 
Kcithmorc on June ."5, 1G62, binding himself to deliver certain papers to 
Iiis son Alexander or his iicirs : ' Adam Duff in Chmybcg writes a paper 

' Tims Ailani Duff was a Cordon, anil W. Kosc nolcs : ' Let il lie rcnicnibcrcil willi 
triitli, lliat industry , care, and attention lias brouglil tliis family equal to any jieer — ownij; llien 
original credit to the Marquises of Huntly, who protected the Dulfs who transacted their 


granting liinisclL' to liavc received Ironi Alex. Duff of Lcttaeli, liis son, the 
papers aflennentioned, to Witt ane (iiseluu-gc I'loin Jolm Miln to liim, out 
of Horn and Caption raised on Horning, Miln contra Duff oi" dait 1C55 : 
iMiln contra Duff and Gordon 1G41 or 1G54 : Contra Ogilvie and his 
cautioners : Doubles letters of horning, etc., sic scrib. Adam Duff.' 
\Villiani Rose saw this paper, and notes that lie ' delivered it to Mr. 
Cranston, January 31, ISOl.' The present writers have not been able to 
trace it. 

Innumerable notes in the Rose BIS. show Adam Duff of Clunyl)cg as 
a ' yoimger son of Mr. John Duff who died April 'J.'i, 159.3, and Margaret 
Cordon, second daughter of Gordon of Cairnburrow, by 15essie Gordon, 
Ruekie's ilaughtcr,' but, unfortunately, authorities are not always given. 
' Adam Duff lived in Ardrone in ICll ; he married, first, a daughter of 
Murray of Milcgan, and then a daughter of Gortlon of Rirkenbvu'n, of whom 
Keilhmore, Corsindac, and William, Provost of Inverness. Adam was a 
burgess of Ranl'f (his ticket dated 1662).' 

Part of his history is to be found in the public records. ^ In the Acts of 
the Scottish Parliament, Adam Duff appears several times. In IGIJ' he, 
with liis two elder sons, Alexander and John, aided in the plundering of 
the house of Alexander Strachan of Glenkindie. Glenkindie's com])laint 
states that these several persons (of whom seven were Gordons and three 
other relations of Clunybeg's) - ' in contempt of the lawis of the kingdome, 
haveing no reason but onlic because the said sujiplicant was ane Cove- 
nanter, Iiad violcntlic broken up with soir hamcris the utter and inner 
Yettis, tioores, kistis, cofferis, lockfast places and phuidered the haill 
moveables,' and prays to have these things restored to him. 

Full details of this ' spulzing of the House of Auehagatt ' are to be found 
in the Book of Hornings, now in Banff. The date of the original raid was 
April 15, 1614., and the account states that ' these ]5ersons, with their 
complices as conmion and notorious thiefes, came botlily in forsc with 
swords, durks, bantls, staves, hagbuts,^ pistollcs and other invasive weapons, 
to the said Alexander Strachan of Glenkindy his dwclling-jilace of Aueha- 
gatt and violently, Avilii forse and instruments of hanuners and others 
brought be them to the said place of Auehagatt, break up the ycattis and 

' i6.(6. Ane Act of the Committee of Parliament wlierehy .|oci nierks to support the army 
were levied on Aijam JJiill in Clunybeg. 

i(..]8. Adam Duff in Clunicbeg and liis sons Jolin and William are found in tlie records 
of Horn, at tlie instance of John l.csly in iiuchroml). 

- John Ogilvie of Aticlioynany, his liall-l)iotlier ; (■coiyo tleddes of Aiicliinhoof, his son- 
iii law ; Clcorgc Adanison in Floors, whose mother was a Diilf of Drummuir. 

'' Crooked lirc-arnis, anciently used. 



doors thereof ami having taken entry witiiin the sanien, broke up the liaill 
kists, eoffers and otiier loek-l'ast Luniics,' and theftously l>y way ol" master- 
ful slcutli-and theft, reif, staw,^and away-took furlh the said Coniplainers 
hail silver work to the avail! '' of an thousand pounds, as also the sum of an 
thousand merks of lying money, breaking his Charter kist anil sLaw and 
away-took furth his haill evidents of his lands together with dwerie bonds, 
Obligations and other securities containing great sums of money addebted 
to him be his Debtors extending to the sum of twenty thousand 
merks together also with the haill guids, gear, insight, plenishing of the 
said place, and victuals being within his girnals ^ to the avail of 2000 
merks, and transported away the samcn and other guids at their pleasure 
and sich like, being fortified by the said Walter Ogiivie of Milltoun of 
Keith.' « 

In the following year, there would seem to have been a fresh offence, 
for the same indictment, bearing the seal of Charles i., goes on to state that 
' under cloud of night in Aug. 16-13, these persons came to the Complainer's 
place of Annonchie and theiftously broke up gates, etc. anil staw [stole] 
fourtic nolt [i.e. cattle] and guids to the availl of a thousand merks . . . 
and in the month of Dec. came and away-took a black hackney horse worth 
a hundred pounds. For the which thciftous crimes as well of stealing, as 
of receipting the foresaid stolen guids the forenamed jiersons, committers 
thereof ought and should be punished in terms of law and to make re- 
stitution, etc.' Precept of horning signeted February 24, 1G48. 

They were accordingly cited U]3on the 11th day of March 1G48 ; ' James 
Leslie, Messenger, past and chargit Adam Duff in Clunybcg, and Alexander 
Duff, his eldest lawful son, at his dwelling-house in Clunybcg where Adam 
and his wife lived and where the said Alexander his eldest son last resided, 
and copies left with Adam's wife as they were from home, jjcrsonally to 
compcir within the Tollbooth of Edinburgh the 12tli of April then next ' ; 
but in 16-19 Straehan was still clamouring for redress. 

In 1651, Adam Duff in Mylnctown of Auchindoune, with .lames Ogilvic 
of llaggall and others, are cited at the instance of Robert Sanders in 
Ardmcidle in the parish of Keith. The complaint being that 'these j)ersones 
in the month of October came to the lands of Dalloehic and rancounteret 
with nyne of the said complenar his servants going to the Knok of Strylay 
to sheir their master's corncs growing thereupon and forced and compelled 
them to go to James Ogilvie's place of llaggall and sheir his corne all that 

' Utensils. ' TracUing. ' Robbed, stole. 

* Worth. ' Granaries. • Stepfather of Adam Duff. 


For this, and for Ji cruel assault ii|)oii Saixk'rs and Iiis wilV, in Dccomlicr 
ol" tlic same year, Adam Duff was ' ])crsoiK'aIlic a|)|)rciiciidc(l ' on April 2'.i, 
Hir>5. Un Novcmlx'rJJO, 1057, Robert Sanders, messenger, notes that ' after 
sex knoekcs upon ilk ane of their most patent doores, he affixed and left 
authentik copies of the letters of horning (because he coidd not find them 
j)ersonaliic), before witnesses, (leorge Gordon, sonc to George Gordon of 
Lickestounc, George Duff, sone to tlie said Adam, and lykways arreslit 
twa thousand mcrks in the hands of Mr. Andro Hay at the Nether Mylnc 
of Strylay, belonging to the said Adam Duff.' 

Horning was not a very serious matter in those days, and very shortly 
afterwards the offenders made their peace with the authorities, and Adam 
appears in a year or two as a respectable citizen and a witness before the 

lie seems, however, to have been a somewhat turbulent person, for, 
on April 14, 1GG.'3, in the Register of Privy Council of Scotland is found a 
record of a ' complaint by John Lyon, elder of Muiresk, and others against 
the Earl of Aboyne, Alexander Duff of Keithmore, Adam Duff in Clunybeg, 
and divers others their accomplices, to the mmibcr of fifteen persons, all 
boddin in fcir of weir,^ armed with swords, pistolls, gunnes and other 
weaponcs invasive, contrar to diverse Acts of Parliament made against 
bearing and wearing of hagbutts and pistolls and convocation of the leiges, 
did by Avay of bangstry ^ and oppression, without any warrand or order of 
law in ane military manner come to the ground of that foresaid lands, and 
affixt and held ane pretendit court, did unlaw and anierciat ^ the absent 
tenants and decerned tliose that were jircsent to receive tacks for him of 
the said lands,' etc. 

When this case came on for trial, only Alexander Duff of Keithmore 
appeared as a defender, and was ' assoilzied.' It is possible that the Adam 
Duff of Clunybeg of this incident may be, not Alexander's father, who would 
have been seventy-three years of age, but Alexander's younger brother 
Adam, who also appears in the Horn Register, ' Adam and James Duff sonnes 
to Adam Duff in Cluniebcg.' ^ 

Adam Duff had, by his first wife, one daughter, Margaret, married in 1641 

' Prepared for a warlike expedition. ^ Strength of hand, violence. ' Fine. 

' This reference was first printed by Cramond in the Genealogist in 1SS7 : ' Adam and James 
Duff sones lawful to umill Adam Dulf in Clunicbeg," and he gave to it the date 16.19, as coming 
after an entry of that date, and before one of 1052 ; but it has been pointed out by Mr. Kee 
that the entry (which lias been verified in the original Book of Homings, now in Banff) is valueless 
legally and historically, as it bears no date of issue at lidinburgh, receipt at Banff, or of execu- 
tion, and in llie liglit of subscijiicnt entries in the same book, duly dated, showing Adam of 
Clunybeg ami Milntoun of Auchiudoun as alive in much later years, it is obvious that this 
entry must be an error of name, of place, or of position in the Book of Homings. 


to George Gcddcs ol" Aiicliinliool' ; by liis second wife, Beatrix Cordon, he 
liiid a larfte fatnily. '1 o (niotc ajjain IVoiii Llic Rose MS. : ' The sons of 
A(him DiilT ol" Clmiyhey-, son of " Mr." John DidT (wlio died April '.>;$, 1 50:5), 
who was born 15!)(), and died by an aeeidenl at tlie ISIihi ol' Aiieiiindoun 
1U75,' arc Alexander, John, VViiHam, Adam, James, George, Andrew, 
and Thomas. Mr. l-awtie knc^v all the yoimg men of the I'amily of Adam 
Duff in Clunybeg, well known, too, in the farm of Ardronc in the parish 
of Keith. He lived there and at Miln of Auehindoun with several of his 
sons in 1649.' The three elder sons, Alexander, John, and William, will be 
treated of in separate chapters ; George, of whom nothing personal is 
known, is spoken of with severity by Baird as ' an idle, lazy, stupid fellow, 
very different from his three elder brothers.' 

George Duff witnesses his father's signature on more than one 
occasion (Rose MS.), and he may possibly be identified with George Duff, 
servitor to Gordon of Edinglassie in IGSO {Aberdeen Sheriff Court Records). 
It was he wlio gave uj) his father's will in 1G74 ; presumably as being the 
eldest son at home. George Duff was in Clunybeg in KiGS, and gives an 
assignment to Alexander Duff his brother. (Adam their father was then 

1712. The same George, writing from Burnend, grants a discharge to 
Braco for his annuity, and mentions his deceased brother Keithmore. 
Witness, Thomas Duff, servitor to Braco. 

Not mucli is known of the others. Adam and James, as we have seen, 
were called at the instance of Thomas Spenee (Horn Register), and in 1GG7 
James Duff, lawful son of Adam Duff of Cluniebcg, grants an obligation to 
one Meldrum, which is witnessed by the said Adam DulT and George 
Duff, brother of granter {Aberdeen Sheriff Court liecords). 

James is said to have succeeded to Auehindoun, and James Duff, 
Milntoun of Auehindoun, occurs more than once as a witness. 
.John and Andrew are witnesses in Banff 1G50 (Rose MS.). 
Thomas appears in the Horn Register of 1G,'33 as son to Adam Duff of 
Ciunylxg. According lo Rose, he was a skipper in Banff, and his children 
had property there. 

John of Bowmakellaeh afterwards held Milntoun of Balvcnie, as he 
renounced the same to his brother Alexander at Keithmore, April 21, 1G74. 
John Duff signs it, Isabel I'ringle, his wife, initials it ' I. P.,' and Alexander 
Duff, writer in Edinburgh (Braco) witnesses. Keithmore paid £G0 Scots 
for the goodwill. 

Tivo of Clunybeg's sons were dead when Baird wrote in 1 773 or there- 

' Really 1674. 


ahnuls. One ' wriil soiitli and never relumed lo llie iiorlli eoimt.ry nf^uin,' 
iind one was ' <lr()\\'ne(l wlieii crossinj^ llu; walei' of I'^iddieli in u Spate,' 
bill no I'lnisliaii name is {riven to either. The I'onner was jirobably the 
progenitor ot a family ofDui'C wliieh settled in Durham county, now repre- 
sented by Mr. Edward J. Duff of Holly liodgc, Cressington Park, Liverpool. 
Family tradition states that his ancestor, who belonged to the Clunybeg 
and Keithmorc family, left Scotland in connection with the political 
troubles of the seventeenth century, but the intervening links have un- 
fortunately been lost. 

It is also stated that Adam of Clunybeg had another son named 
Patrick or Peter, who would make the ninth, and was j)ossibly the one 
who ' went south.' 

Besides the numerous sons, Adam Duff had by liis second wife, Beatrix 
Gordon, two daughters : 

' Jean, married to John Muircn of Mather Cluny, and Helen, married to 
Taylor in Ardgaithnay ' (Baird). 

Baird seems, with his usual carelessness, to have transposed the 
Christian names of the two daughters, for in the Botriphnie Kirk-Session 
Records we find under date ' 1G57. Compeared Patrick Taylor and Jean 
Duff, before the Presbytery.' Ardgaithney is situated close to the station 
of Drummuir. 

Mether or Nether Cluny afterwards passed into the hands of the 
descendants of Adam's son George, whose son was Adam.^ 

There is another side to the biography of Adam Duff of Clunybeg, 
in which he a])pcars as a pious elder of the Kirk-Session of Alortlaeh, some 
extracts from the minutes of which may be given : 

In 1023, among the elders in ' the Paroehin of Mortlach,' we find Adam 
Duff in Auchindoun. 

In 1027, Adam Duff is appointed to be the keeper of the box containing 
the ' comnione guid,' to be distributed ' be the advice of the Sessions.' 

From 1027 to lGt7 (at which latter date there is a gap in the minutes), 
Adam Duff of Clunicbeg ajipears frequently as cautioner and suretie for 
various persons, which shows him to have been a man of sulistance. In 
1041 he is surety at the marriage of his own daughter Margaret to George 
Geddes of Auchinhoof.- 

In the same year he is appointed one of the elders, ' for the ingathering 
of the penalties,' Auchindoun being his particular district.' 

» Adam DuK in McUicr Cluny, elder of Morllach, 1711. 

' He therefore probably married his first wife about 1620. 

' For the above extracts we are indebted to Mr. Ree of Hoharra. 


' Presbytery of FounYcr: 

' 2G July 1C55. VisitiiLioii of Mortliich 

' Adam Duff parishoner thcr rcgratcd that being ane elder, the minister luid 
removed him off the Sessionc w.out order, be sending to him ane man desiring 
him to byd from the Sessone, and 2dly that lie had eomparcd him to Ehmas, the 
sorcerer. The minister answered to 1, that he desired him to byd from the 
Session, be reasonc of ane Aet of the Gcnerall Assemblic, as being aceessoric to 
the lait iinlawfull ingagcmentes, and to the second he answered lluit he did but 
utter the apostles words and did not apply them to any. The said Adam Duff 
stood to his assertiones and immediately departed saying that in tyme and place 
convenient he had mor to say, which he was to mak out quhen he was put 
to it.' 

Notes of Clunybeg's death and funeral are thus given in William Rose's 
papers : 

' Adam Duff of Clunybeg, whose Father was John Dulf of Muldavit and 
Mother, Margaret Gordon, must have been 84 years old at his death. 
Lord Bracco said George Duke of Gordon was at this burriall and Ogilvie 
of Ardo and Lord Findlater who died 1730. Ogilvie of Ardo told Mr. 
Lawtie at Fordyce that he was at school at Deskford when the Cor])s 
passed to the Isle of Cullen,^ from Chmybeg and Slilntoun of Aueh- 
indoun.' 'All this I hold true, for George Duke of Gordon married and 
came north in Oct. 1G7G.' 

(Adam Duff's funeral was therefore before the Duke's marriage. He 
was not, of course, created Duke of Gordon until 1081., but he married 
Lady Elizabeth Howard, daughter of the Duke of Norfolk and Earl of 
Norwich, in 1G70). 

There is, imfortunately, no monument to Adam of Clunybeg in CuUen 
or elsewhere. 

There is a very jiowerful portrait of him by Honthorst in the possession 
of the Duchess of Fife, which is reproduced as a frontispiece to tiie present 
volume.- An inferior painting of Beatrix (Jordon is now at Montcoffer. 

Adam Duff's will, which is very brief, is amongst the Duff House papers. 
This fixes his death as having occurred in lG7't : 

' The family l)\irying-iilacc o( tlic DiiKs of MiiMavit. Sec clia])lcr ii. 

' The ilalc, of course, is a later aiMilion, ami is recognisable as being in the same hand as 
other inscriptions on pictnres in the liiiff House collection, which later researches have shown 
to be incorrect. See John Dufl and Agnes (lordon in chapter ii. As Adam apjicars to be 
about tilty years old, the date should probably be about lO^o to 10.15. 'he picture was formerly 
ascribed to Jamcsone, b\it the name G. Honthorst has been found upon it. 


If •nh'>ff"rf VT 


' The Testament of the deceased Adam Duff in Clunieber.. who died 

r t^^L^i^''^^' ''''■ ^'- - «-- '"> '^^ ^^-- ?^-, ,.;;;•! 

of thJ';oL\";i"roZS:^ Du?5 a''T'' ^°"'"S--'^'-. --s his descent f.o. one 

to and contemporary of William, first Lord F>fe. Thereafter^hf family ralfonow" '" 

h. m ^u}">^^ ^r-"' }■"" ^^P- l"*'' » *"■<'"'" Thomas, born HIS diea ]S01 • 

he m. Barbara Gordon, and had fourteen children. He is buried in Inve.'ne.s. 

John Alexander, 1759-1829, m. Catherine Lucy MauiUlcy. 

C.oodman, IjaJ two sons and one daughter. ' ^'■""^ o.'.p. 

Charles Henry, born 1861, Thomaa Wirii.m .. I 

m. Edith M. Baily in 1909 .lied"! Anst Ll^' r. *'»"''-'[;'<»''»». 

I ^^ '" Australia. ,n. Captain Horatio Bland. 

I I • I 

Barbara Gordon, David Shere, H ,• ' u x. I 

born 1910. born 191" Horatio, R.N., Charles E. \Y. 

Jied 1901. born 1S81. 


From their tombstones in Mortlach 



TiiK history ol' Alexander of Keithmore, eldest son of Adam of Clunybeg, 
is thus given by Baird : ' He was the heir and worthy suecessor of Adam 
Duff of Clunybeg, and was an officer under Montrose in all his campaigns 
of lG4t, '45, and '46, and when the Marquis went beyond sea in consequence 
of iiis capitulation with Midlcton in September IGIG, he went over to the 
C'oi\liueut likewise, but to what country I do not know. lie came home 
in a year after, when the violent prosecutions of the Loyalists were over. 
But it is affirmed, he was then taken up by the Covenanters and thrown 
into prison, where he lay a long time. However, he got his liberty at last.' 
Among tiic Duff House |)aj)ers the following records of liis military career 
arc preserved : 

' George, marquesse of Huntly, his Majesty's Lieutenant of and in the 
northern partes of this his Majesty's Kingdomc of Scotland. ... Be vertue of 
his MajcsLie's Commission Grunted to us, we doe by these presents appoynt you, 
Alexander Duff captain of ane troup to consist of fiftae horses with their Ryders 
suHieiently armed, to be within the regiment of our sonne the Lord Gordon, 


(iivLiiig- you t'lill power to exercise all the fimetions and ihieties belonging to anc 
captain of horses and to conniiand all your inferior ollicers and souldiers, as they 
arc to be obedient to you. Provyding alwayes, you be accountable to us for 
deschargeing the said ollice and obedient to the conunand of your superior 
officers. Given under our hand and scale at Iluntly the "i.^rd of October lCt5.' 

' Captain Alexander Duffe is heerby ordained to passe into the lands of 
Mulben, Strayla, Grange, llothemay and Tordewhill, and to levie from thence 
ane horseman for his I\Iajesty's service sulliciently armed out of cueric daugh ' 
of the said lands cxcepLing only such lands as pertaine in proper possession with- 
out being wadset to Glengarrochc, Birkenburn, IMiltoun, Carcstown, Achay- 
nochie. Brake, and Floorcs, And to conduct the said horseman to anc rendewoues 
appoyntcd at Iluntly upon Monday next, the last of this month, be ten houres 
in the fore-noon, for which these shall be unto the said Captain Duffe ane 
sufTicicnt warrant. Signed at Iluntly the twentie-fourth day of November 

' By Major-General Middletone. These graunts protection to Alexander 
Duff, sone to Adam Duff of Clunybeg, from all violence and wrong to be done to 
him in liis person, estate, goods or gcir by any whoscvcr, hce alwayes behaveing 
himself deutifullie not joyneing wt. the enemie, and being answerable to Church 
and state for liis varriage " whensoever he shall be called. Given at Strathbogic 
the 7th day of May 1617. Jo. Middletonk.' 

' June 1617. Mr. VV^alter Day, minister of Deskfoord, VVm. Leslie of Milton 
of Balvenic and Walter Leslie of Tullich, testify that they, conform to the 
ordinance of the Church holden at Aberdeen in May last, received Alexander 
Duff, son to Adam Duff of Cluniebeg, this day after divine worshii^, ^"'i after 
his public and solemn humiliation in presence of the Congregation of cimrch of 
IMortlich, have absolved him of all censure for his dcliquencie.' 

' By General Major Middletone. These are requiring all officers and 
souldiers or any whomsoever nott to trouble or molest the personc or goods off 
Alexander Duff seeing he hath satisfie both Kirk and cstaitt. Given at Pitlurg 
the eight day off Feln'uary 1048. Jo. Middletone.' 

' Pass by Major General Middletone, Commander of the Forces. ... I doe 
hereby graunt unto Alexander Duff Sonne to Adam Duff of Clunybeg full assur- 
ance of his life and fortune to be unquestioned in either of them, for any deed 
done by him in the late course of rebellion hee Jiath fornierlie bene in, or in rela- 
tion theirto. Provided hee behave himself dutifully in time conieing, otherwise 
this favour to be voyd. Given at Petlurg the 2Gth day of March IGIS. Jo. 

' These are requyring the comander of party, lyii\g ujjon Alex. Duffe off 
Sichache, upoune sight heirof to remove to his truppe wt. his [)arty, as lykwais 
requiring all ollicieirs inider my comande not till trubill nor mollest the said 
Alex. Duffe untill suciie tymc that the l)usiness betwixt him and Captainc 
Dauisone or his father be discussit farther before the Comitty off Estaits or Lords 

' Four huiiJrecl and sixteen acres. ' FcLidal service. 


o[ Scssione. Given at Lcith (lie twcnty-seuintlif day of Dec. 1 040 yeirs. David 


Kcitlimore wiis ii little man, according to Baird, and ' in the decline 
of life became very corpulent, which was probably owing to the fatiguing 
campaigns he had with Montrose. This made his fiiends call him Croilie ^ 
Duff,' and under that title a ballad was written about him, which must be 
given here : 

(Alexander Duff of Keithmoiie and Braco, 1G23-16o6) 

1. Oh, heard ye e'er o' (leely DiifT 

Wha lived iiitill Keithiiiore ? 

My troth he was a comely wight. 

The gudeman o' Keithmore. 

2. Creely had neither chaise nor coach 

For him to ride in state ; 
But a puir yad (horse) was never shod, 
Though Braco noo rides great. 

3. His saddle was o' gude sheep's skin, 

Weel covered wi' the wool, 
And it wad never change its hue 
For weather fair or fool. 

4. His stirrups was the thrawin' wands,- 

His bridle was the hair. 
And oh, he was a comely knight, 
Wi' a' his ridin' gear. 

.5. He had a creel upon his back, 
Made o' guid foreign segs,-* 
It to carry his market wares — 
His chickens anil his eggs. 

(). On ilka score he gained a plack,' 
And laid it up in store. 
This is the vcrra way that he 
Got wadset of Keithmore. 

' ' Croil,' a distorted person, a dwarf (Jamieson). It has sometimes been said that the 
name Crccly Duff was derived from the fact that he did at one time go about the country with 
a creel, as in the ballad, but this is unlikely. 

" Weaving wauds. ' Rushes. 

* A small copper com equal to the third part of an liiiglish penny. 


7. Tliorc; dwelt ii witch wife in the land, 

Wli.i niony an am; did wron^ — 
liotii lairds and knights and gcnllinicn 
()' jolly and high renown. 

8. She pit a red cow till his fauld 

Wha ever heard her cries, 
Wadset their lands in IJraco's hands, 
And tills made 15raco rise.' 

In the year 1650, Alexander Duff married Helen, daughter of Alexander 
Grant of AUacliie, brother of Archibald Grant of Ballintomb, and Baird's 
further account of this notable couple is so delightful that it must be given 
in full : 

' Keithmoir was a judicious, frugal, honest man ; and, tho' abundantly 
active and diligent, a great share of his success in acquiring money is 
ascribed to his wife, one of the most industrious, painstaking women of 
the age in which she lived, or perhaps of any other. She was a sturdy, big- 
boned woman, and at last became so fat and bulky that it is said it required 
an eln of plaiding to make her a pair of hose, and that one time when she 
threw herself hastily into her chair, without taking notice that the house 
cat was lying squat upon the seat, she prest puss so effectually to death 
with the weight of her body, that it never wagged a foot more, and she was 
so broad that no armed chair of the common size could admit of her sitting 
in it. 1 

' Helen Grant was a most hospitable kind housekeeper, while at the 
same time she neglected no commendable and virtuous method of thriving. 

' It is said of Kcithmoir's lady, Helen Grant, that she would have gone 
to market with 1000 elns of plaiding, all made of the wool of her own sheep, 
ami ridcn on the horse crupper behind one of the loads herself, and brougjit 
home 1000 mks. as the price of her plaiding. 

' It 's said she liad alwise great plenty of gold and silver specie. In 
those troublesome times people were afraid to lend out their money, or 
even to be let it known that they had any, for fear of being robbed, and 
tlicrefore hid it in holes and bores for this purpose. I heard lately one of 
her grandchildren tell the following story : During the Usurpation of Oliver 
Cromwell she had concealed a great leather bag full of ducatons in the 
ceiling of the Hall at Keithmoir and the rats had just finished gnawing 
a chasm in the bottom of the bag, when a large company was at dinner, a 
shower of dollars fell on the floor, everybody rose to give their assistance 

' The portrait of Helen Duff, by a Venetian artist, is in the possession ot the present writers. 
The proportions oi the laJy fully justify the above story. 

ja iiMazAXMJA jg 



in Kitlierinfj, but tlie Lady entreated lliem all in a very pcremj)tory tone of 
voiee (o kee[) their seats, for .slie did not want anyborly lo (^atliei' but 
herself ! 

' And in the beginning of King William's reign, about 1689, being 
informed one day that a party of military Avas in the neighbourliood, and 
afraid lest they should come to Keithmoir and take her money, she de- 
livered a scaled bag of gold and silver coin to her grandchild, old Lcsnuirdy, 
a boy then seventeen or eiglitcen years of age, and desiicd him to hide it 
somewliere in the ground and to set a mark at tlic ))Iace that he might find 
it again, but to be sure to Iiidc it well, because she woidd rather wish it 
was lost than that King William's Dragoons should get it. The boy dig'd 
a hole at the side of a strype of water which runs alongst the Creen of 
Keithmoir, in which he laid the bag and covered it with earth, and when 
the party was gone he took it out and delivered it to his grandmother. 

' Keithmoir got a good portion with this honest wortliy lady, and after- 
wards by the death of her brother, Patrick Grant of AUachie, succeeded 
to 100,000 merks more, including the Wadset of Allaehic itself and Belelierie 
which was most profitable, and not long ago redeemed from the last Lord 
Fife, by Sir Lodvick Grant and sold to James Grant of Carron ; for tho' 
there were three or four sisters all married, Keithmoir and his wife were 
greater favorites of the brother than any of the rest. And by a proper im- 
provement of this and his own original stock, he died possest of 24,000 
merks of land rent, and this besides large purchases which his eldest son 
Brace made in his father's lifetime, for he was near fifty years old wlien 
Keithmoir died. He got the Wadset of Keithmoir from the Marquis of 
ITuntly sometime between 1040 and 164C, and very jirobably exchanged it 
with Clunybeg (his father) on such terms as they could agree on. 

' In 1G7(>, he got his armorial bearings matriculated, and the I'ollowing 
certification from the Lord Lion : 

' " I ccrtific and make known that the coat armorial appertaining and liclong- 
ing to Alexr. Duff of Keithmoir, lineally descended from tin: family of i\It)]david 
and Craighead, and approved of and confirmed by me. Sir Cliarks lOrskiiic of 
Canibo, Lord Lyon Kiiig-at-Arms, to iiim of this date, is niaLrieiiiiited in my 
public register, etc., viz., a fcsse daunzctte ermine, between a Buck's head 
caboshed in chieff, and two escallops in base, or," ' (.te.* 

' To the statement above made, a di0erent but apparently contemporary hand adds : 
' There is good reason to believe that he is not the rcprcsentcr of Craighead.' This note may 
still be seen at llu- l.yon OHice, hut, /i/rc Dr. Cranioiid, it docs nol throw any iloiibt upon 
Alexander's descent through his father, Adam ol Clunybeg, fnjin ' i\lr.' John Dull of Muldavit 
who died in 1503, but merely indicates what wc already Know, that some descendants of some 
of Adam's ten or eleven elder brollicrs were still living lA that period, especiaUy John Duff, 


' Kcitlimore's lady died in lG9i, in tlie sixtieth year of licr age ; lie 
outlived her two years, and died in 1(5!)0, aged seveiiLy-thrce. At that 
time I believe the whole landed estate of the father and son was about 
40,000 merks per an.' 

WiUlam Duff, Inverness, to William Duff of Dipple 

'Invriinkss, 27^/1 Febry. IGiJ-l. 
' D: Nephew, — I receavcd my joint letter with your postscript theron 
giveiiig mc the sadd ncwes of your mother's death [Helen Giant of Allachie]. 
I pray God grant all concerned grace to submitt humbly and patiently to the 
good hand off God who corrects us in measure and less than we deserve. I 
pray Dear Nephew give your old father your best and most Christiane advise 
for his comfortable subsistance in the world for I only pittie him in this juncture. 
I mett with my Lord Lovat the day at the burriall and xeused yow to him. I 
receaved Mortomer's lyne to you — but I am (irmly resolved not to ingage in 
wietuall this year the two half anchors are filled with sack from Bailie Mcintosh 
which holds just two yc can make sure and pay him att your return. I expect 
to see yowe very sone the next week and till y" I remainc your affeetionat Uncle, 

Wm. Duff. 

' ffor William Duff off Dypill ffor the present at Keithmorc, there.' 

' Keithmoir and his lady are interred in the Church of Mortlach, under a 
stately monument of cut stone. And above their grave botli their statues 
stand, very well chiselled, and extremely like. As I was informed, they are 
placed on a stone bench, and make a comely graceful appearance, both 
jolly figures and looking like peace and plenty.^ The following inscription 
is engraven above them : 

' " Within this tomb are deposited the remains of Alexr. Duff of Keith- 
moir, and Helen Grant, his spouse, the lineal and lawfull heir to the ancient 
family of Craighead, lately in possession of that estate, and originally 

burgess of Aberdeen, and his son John Duff who went to Rotterdam and died in 1718, and was 
always known as ' the heir.' It apparently escaped Craraond that, on the same page ot the 
Lyon Register, but above his brother, William DufI (afterwards Provost of Inverness), 
matriculated the same arms with the difference of a mullet, in right of his being ' a 3rd son 
of the family of Craighead, which is the same as Muldavit,' and tliat the contemporary com- 
mentator, whoever ho may have been, in this case made no objection. 

• Alexander paid the bill for tliis monument at the time of his wife's death, and sketches 
for the figures arc preserved with the receipt. Owing to its position in Mortlach church 
this monument cannot now be photographed, but the sketch at the head of chapter was done 
some years ago by Constance Tayler, sister of the writers, and gives an excellent idea of it. 

■If If:"; if" I . "It) Wiri ;i ' uri 


descended, he from the most notable Thanes, Earls of Fife, and she of the 
most illustrious and powerful! Clan of the Grants." ^ 

' Tho' this inscription is no proof of the Duffs being of the same stock 
with the old Thanes of Fife, it shows that the story is not newly trumped 
up, but that it was supported a hundred years ago by an old and invariable 
tradition ' (Baird). 

Kcithmore left three sons : Alexander Duff of Braco, born 1G52 ; 
William Duff of Dipi)lc, born 1G53 ; and Patrick Duff of Craigston ; and 
four daughters : 1. RIargaret, married to James Stewart of Lesmurdy, and 
had one son. 2. Jean, married in 1680 to Jlr. George Meldrum, minister 
of Glass (see chapter xxvi.) — she died 1723. 3. Mary, ' married in 1084, 
1st to Dr. Andrew Fraser, Physician at Inverness, to whom she bore one 
daughter, Helen, married to Charles Hay of Rannes, and by him mother 
of a numerous issue. And after Doctor Fraser's death she married, in 
1710, Thomas Tulloeh of Tannachy,- one of the oldest families in Murray, 
to whom she had one son Alexander, the present Tannachy, and two 
daughters, the younger of the two, Elizabeth, married to Alexander Cuming 
of Craigmiln, who was engaged with Prince Charles in 1745, taken prisoner 
at Culloden, and died in jail at Carlisle in 1746, leaving, by her, five daughters 
and two sons, one an officer in France and married to a Frenchwoman, and 
the other a Miln-wright in Jamaica ' (Baird). 

4. Elizabeth, in 1GS5, married to a son of Thomas and a brother of Sir 
James Calder, but lie died ' within the year,' and there was no family. 

Tlie three following letters from Alexander (of which the originals, very 
difficult to decipher, are preserved amongst the Drummuir papers), are 
interesting ; 

Alexander of Keithmore to his nephew Alexander Duff of Drummuir 

'Keithmore, Dec. 21, 1085. 
' Affectionate dear Nephew, — You will perceive by my son's line to you 
and by his line to mc which he desired mc to send along to you, wherein falsely 

' Hoc conduntur tumulo reliquiae Alexandri Duff de Keithmore et Helenae Grant uxoris 
suae charissimae qui quadraginta annos et ultra felici et faecundo connubio juncti vixeruat 
uterque quidem ingenue natus. Ille ex nobilissimis Fifae Thanis per vetustam familiam de 
Craigliead paulo ab hinc superstitem proxime et legitime oriundus. Ilia ex splendida et 
potenti Grantorum familia codcm quoquc modo origincm trahens ortu non obscuri suis tamen 
virtutibus illustriores opibus affluxerunt et liberis ingenue educatis fioruere pie juste et sobrie 
vixerunt et sic in Domino mortem obiere, Ilia anno Domini 1694 aetatis suae scxagesimo — 

• Tannachy is now Invcrerne, near Forres. Thomas Tulloch was grandson to the man 
mentioned in the deeds of Montrose as 'Tannachy TuUoch,' one of the 'loyal gentlemen' who 
came to greet Montrose when led a prisoner through Inverness, May 0, 1650. 


malitiously and unjustly wc arc troubled by Arthur Forbes under treaty whieh 
oecasions us to put you t(j this trouble to look upon the eopies ol the ehurj^es 
offering, and to raise a suspension for us with all the haste you can and to get 
the Will of the date Dec. 17 and to cause intimate it to Arthur however soon you 
can and to advise letters of loosing of arrestment conform to the copies sent 
herewith. There are many more laid upon our tenants which wc could not 
get up so speedily. I have according as you will see by this line, written a line 
to Mr. Thomas Gordon and sent dollars whieh you may deliver or not as you 
think expedient. If you cannot get this business done yourself with as much 
diligence as Mr. Thomas Gordon can, I have sent a precept to raise Horning 
against some of my Lord Gordon's tenants, wliich he did put a factory upon me 
to collect some bonds which you will have cause raise and then by adducement 
contained in the horning. If you think it needful and deliver the letter to ]\Ir. 
Thomas Gordon, what more monies he calls for be pleased to advance it and it 
shall be sent you very thankfully. ^Vc have written likewise a line to Mr. 
William Gordon, Lesmoir's son, to be assisting in the affairs if you should require 
him. My son will see you when needful. 

' I pray you take so much time as to writ howc your own affairs are going 
on and what Dorothy ^ is doing. You will receive the G dollars with this letter 
and do as you think best, before I cast the stress of the affair upon you. Pray 
you despatch the monies to your cousin Birkcnburn and despatch the bearer 
how soon you can. — Your loving uncle, Alexander Duff. 

' To Alex. Duff of Drummuir.' 

The same to (he same 

'Kkithmohe, 4<A Feb. 160G. 

' Affectionate dear Nephew, — Having occasion to send this south to my 
son, I could not omit the occasion to salute you and to let you know that, blessed 
be God, all friends and relations are in good health, and wish to hear the like 
of you and wish to be refreshed with good news of your affairs. Please know 
the bargain ancnt my Lord Airlie's salmon fishing is closed. AVesterton, your 
father. Provost Stewart, Baillie, my son William and William Calder partners. 
They advance £li,000 Scots for the 10 years tack, my lord keeps the creels to 
himself. I entreat you acquaint me how the prices of ^Vesthall arc like to be 
and how the affair of Auchflunkart goes, and with Dorothy, and how my sonc's 
affairs goes with Arthur Forbes and what Crombie is doing and what counter 
oecurrence is passing. With greetings from my bedfellow and my own humble 
service is all at present, from your loving uncle, Alexander Duff.' 

' Dorothy Lawson, stepmother of Drummuir's wife. See chapter xxii. 

•is\\r i\! >j 'jrvvj ai, 1. 


Alexander Duff of Keithmore to his hon. brother William, Provost of 

' Kkitiimore, Mar. G, 1G93. 

' Affec. dear BnoTnER,— I received yours as to the land of BcUyhack, 
which truly if it were not agrasscd with my other land and conformed I could 
easily be persuaded to obtempcr your desire, but I am only an [illegible] and 
my sone have been at payncs in purchasing the right and are more loth to break 
the interest being out confirmed, but if you and my son can fall upon any terms 
of satisfaction, I shall be a good instrument thereanent, though wist you whatt 
of shall be accciitable for truly I am very tender {i.e. infirm), and my wife also. 
We both tender our kindly respects to you and your bedfellow and children 
and other friends and relations with you and remain, your affectionate and 
heartie, Alkxandeii Duff.' 

The writer was then over seventy years of age, and died three years 
later ; his wife in 1G94 (eleven months later). 

The much honoured Laird of Braco from Jean Duff, daughter of 
Alexander Duff of Keithmore and wife of the Rev. George Meldrum 

' Affectionate Brother, — Receive enclosed, one double of Ardmeallie's 
libel with one letter from Tarlair, who it seems received not your letter timeously, 
but I '11 show you it was none of my default, for James Lumsden was sent 
with it to Banff on Wednesday after you went from this place, but not finding 
Tarlair in the town entrusted the delivering of it to one other who, it seems, has 
neglected it. 

' They came here by Mr. Francis Grant of Cullen his brother this forenoon, 
and the bearer is sent express to know your thoughts of it and to advertyse you 
timeously that you may take your own methods thereon, and this with my love 
and respects to yourself, and lady, is all at the time from your affectionate sister 
and servant, Jean Duff. 

' My son-in-law,^ his wife and sisters remember you kindly. 
'CitoMiiiE, June 27, ICO'.).' 

A bill follows, ' Fully paid and done,' for sums paid to Daniel Simpson 
for the advice at the instance of the Lady Crombie and John Ramsay 
against Isabel IMcldrum and Gordon of Ardmcallic her husband. The other 
items arc of no interest. 

Various conflicts with the authorities on the part of Alexander of 
Keithmore have already been noted in the chapter on his father. Two 
later episodes must here be mentioned. 

' James Duff, afterwards of Crombie. See chapter xxvii. 


In 1GG2 Alexander Duff of Kcitlimoro was charp;c(l with 'defrauding 
the customs.' Tlie coniplainers, Thomas Fi'aser and Alexander 15urnet, 
younger, burgesses in Aberdeen, went to St. llufus lair, held at Keith, and 
bought from James Grant (at Keithlich in Auchindoun) a web of linen 
cloth, measured to 70 ells. 

' But Jas. Grant, with Alex. Duff in Keithmore and otlicrs of sett purpose to 
affront and abuse the merchants and burgesses of Aberdeen upon pretence that 
the said eloath was not rightly measured, did insted of performing their bargan 
for delyverie of the same, calumniate and abuse them, thrcathcn and menace 
them and in the oppen mercat did draw furth durkcs of purpose to have mur- 
thered them — which abuse was powerfully occasioned by the ignorance of James 
Barclay, dean of gild of Banff who pretcndit to have the rule and government 
of the said mercat, and most illegalli caused one George Mintie, indwellcr in 
Banff, measure the said web — who caused the same to be holden and drawnc be 
thrie severall persons and thereby rent and racked the same to two elnes more 
nor the said Jas. Grant had caused Alex. Duff to measure the same, and 4 elnes 
more than the 70 clncs which was the number at which the same was bought and 
measured, and by force, bangstry ^ and oppression of James Grant and Alex. Duff, 
and throw the malice and ignorance of the Dean of Gild, forced the compleaners 
to make payment of four elnes more of the said plyding eloath than was the true 
and just measure of the same as it was first measured upon the place be the saids 
complianers and afterwards by honest merchants in Aberdeen — Lykas the said 
Jas. Grant did openly confess that the said web was only 70 clncs truly and that 
he had eutted off 4 elnes therefore before he had come from home. 

' Defenders having been charged did not appear. The Lords ordain them to 
be put to the horn and escheated ' {Register of Privy Council). 

' 1664. Complaint by Alex. Kemp in Auchindoun against Alex. Duff of Keith- 
more, and John Duff in Milntoun his brother, for assault and illegal 
' Alexander and John Duffs, having conceaved ane deadly malice against 
the said eomplaincr, without any just cause or provocation on his part, did upon 
the — — • day of May IGGl come to his house of Tanon, accompanied with diverse 
persons armed in ane hostile manner, and apprehend his person, and band his 
hands behind his back and most crucUie gave him several most dangerous and 
deadly wounds, and thereafter patt him in a pair of stockcs, where they kcepit 
him be the span of 8 days and above, in ane dungeon in the house of Auchin- 
doun, wliile the whole blood of his body ran out at his linger ends and by that 
and by famen williin and rattones and other vermin without, he was lyke to be 
destroyed ' (Register of Privy Council). 

James Duff in Milntown was called as a witness, but the result of the 
trial is not given. 

Al ,i '■'.''>. 'J DC !5 IjUI'I' OI' l-:^:iTHlTv:'.RE. 


In spite of this, in tlic year IGGG Alexander Duff of Kcithmorc was 
fjranlctl ' a eoniniissioii to a|)|)rclien(l rebels.' 

In 1095, Alexander ol" Jiraeo, Keitliniorc's son, eornplains that in the 
year 1689, by General Maekay's order, troops were quartered at Balvenie 
under Captain Gordon and Cajjtain Grant. At that time there were 500 
bolls of meal in the castle — part of which was used by the soldiers ; after 
the battle of Killieerankie the rebels came to the castle and took away 
the rest of the meal. He prays for payment for his meal ' as he himself 
was attending the meeting of the estates.' He adds that his ' father, an 
old man of seventy years of age, was taken by the rebells out of his own 
house (of Keithmore), which was plundered and destroyed by them, and 
he himself keeped in a starving condition untill he was necessitat to pay a 
ransom for his relieffe.' Compensation for the meal was granted to Braeo 
{Ads of the Scottish Parliament). 

In the Seajicld Correspondence there is a letter from George Ogilvie to 
the Earl of Findlatcr, in which he says : ' Keithmore Duff has dealt very 
treacherously, which lie is like to suffer for by the Highlanders.' 

He had apparently been ' holding ' the castle of Balvenie (which 
was later fortified by his great-nephew William of Braeo in 1715), in the 
interests of King William and General Mackay, and after Killieerankie he 
had retired to liis own house of Keithmore.^ 

There is a very beautiful portrait of Alexander Duff of Keithmore, as a 
young man (painted, apparently, by a Venetian artist), in the possession 
of the Duchess of Fife, here reproduced. 

Alexander of Keithmore, eldest son of Adam of Clunybeg, obtained 
from the Marquis of Iluntly a wadset of Keithmore, JMortlach, which long 
continued to be his residence. The old house, of which little is left, 
is now turned into a eow-byre, and a new house has been built, but 
in the old walls can still be seen the loopholes for defence ; also the arms, 
on a stone in the dyke. Clunybeg is to the north of the old house of 

Alexander Duff added greatly to the estates held by his father. Ilis 
name occurs frequently in the list of Bartffshirc sasines. 

In 1010 lie got a wadset of Kcitlimorc. 
In 1G50 of SuccoUi. 

In 1G57 ' Alex. Duff of Soccoth and Helen Grant his spouse took saisine of 
the lands of Lcttach and old Auehlaggan.' 

' It seems somcwliat hard upon Alexander Duff that he should have suffered in his youth 
from having joined the Royalist party, i.e. his father was Cncd for his ' malignancy ' and he 
himself forced to ffy the country, and again in his old age should have been maltreated for not 
having joined the same party. 


In ICGO of the town and lands of Pittyvaich and Filtic. 

In 1000 of tliL- town and lands of ClunyliLg. 

In 1073 of Bcllyhack and Towie. 

In 1077 of Towiemore and Dclchan. 

In 1078 of the townc and lands of Farmtoune and oythcrs. 

In 1078 All the lands of Medder Clunybcg and 8 oxgatcs of Milntoun of 

In 1079 Miln of Auchindoun. Another wadset of Kcithmore, August 10, 

In 1083 the dauch lands of Turtorie with lands of Coldhome and Idmitter, 
with the lands and lordship of Balvenie. 

In 1088 ane yearly arent of 300 merles out of the lands of Edinglassie. 

And finally, in 1002, ' the renuneiation of Alexander Duff of Keithmore 
in favours of his grace the Duke of Gordon of the lands of Keithmore and 
Mylne and mylnetoun of Auehindoun and lands of Clunybeg and Shenwall 
wt. yr pertinents.' He had Braco in the year 1078 and in 1081 made it over 
to his son. 

After he acquired part of the lordship of Balvenie, he was ' Baron 
Baillic ' for the Duke of Gordon in Auclnndoun. He fu'st ajipcars in the 
suite roll of Barons and Freeholders of Banffshire in the Midsummer Court, 
1075, where he is entered ' for the lands of Lettach and Auchlaggan.' In 
the Pasch Court of 1078 lie also appears as superior of Buchromb and 
Milntown of Balvenie, formerly held by his father-in-law. Grant of 

3>.'0T,'"''T'1J ^0 iTJa 


' /i4H h> A• 



BRACO HOUSE (rehuilt and modernised) 




' Alexander Duff of Braco was born in 1652. After his education at 
school and college was over ^ he attended a Writer to the Signet's (A. Boyd's) 
chambers at Edinburgh some years, and came into employment himself 
as an agent, but retired to the country in 1G75. lie married early to 
Margaret Gordon, daughter of Sir James Gordon of Lesmore, who outlived 
him many years ; he sat long in tlie Scotch Parliament, as one of the 
representatives of the county of Banff ; he took the oath of allegiance in 
1089 and sat again in 1G93-1701, and was alwise for what he thought the 
interest of his country. In the beginning of the eighteenth century it was 
the general opinion of the Scotch nation that an incorporating union with 
England Avould be very deti'imcntal to the interest and honour of their 
country. Braco, being of this opinion, opposed the union strenuously, 
and was on that accoimt much regarded by the Duke of Hamilton and all 
the leading men of that side. Mr. Gordon of Pitlurg, who was then one of 
the representatives for the county of Aberdeen, used to tell that when Braco 
went north on account of his private affairs, the duke always stipulated 
with him that he should return against a day appointed. (He likewise 

' He was at Marischal College, Aberdeen, in 1GC4. 


said tliat though Braco went very plain and even coarse at Iiome, he was 
still extremely well drcst at Edinburgh.) He lost all ])atiencc if he sus- 
pected that any of his friends was like to desert and join the court side, and 
would threaten them bloodily. Being informed that one gentleman,^ a 
near ally of his, Avas wavering, he came into the room where he was, drew 
his shable, and drove him into a corner, alwise shaking it over liis head in 
great passion and saying, "Ha, man, ha, man, are you going to vote against 
the good of your country ? Deil ha' me, I '11 head you like a Sybow " 
{i.e. a spring onion). 

' At another time, being told that several of the Peers were gained by 
the Ministry, he swore he would buy a whole bench of them out of the 

' He was certainly a good countryman in all national concerns, and a 
very useful member of society in the north of Scotland, by the care he took 
to have all the Highland robbers and thieves who pestered the low country 
at that time apprehended and brought to justice, on which occasions he 
frequently exposed his own life to very great danger, but at the same time 
gave good proof of his courage and conduct. One instance which made a 
great deal of noise at the time, was the seizing of James Macphei'son and 
Peter Brown at Summerrive's fair- at Keith, September 1700. These were 
two notorious villains, breakers of the peace in all sorts of villainy, whom 
Braco had made several attempts to catch, but as they were protected by 
the Laird of Grant, he was still disappointed. As soon as he spied them 
in the market, he desired his brother-in-law, Lesmurdy, to bring him a 
dozen of stout able men which he did ; they all attaekt the villains, who, 
having several of their accomplices with them, made a desperate resistance. 
One of them made a pass at Braco, intending to run him through the heart, 
but the dirk slanted alongst the outside of his ribs, without cutting the 
skin, and one of Braco's men stabb'd the fellow dead. They carried 
Maepherson and Brown to a house in Keith, where Braco and Lesmurdy 
left them with a guard, not expecting any more opposition. But when 
they were in an upper room with two or three of their acquaintances con- 
certing the committment of their prisoners, the Laird of Grant, with thirty 
armed men, came to the door calling for them, and swearing that no Duff 
in Scotland should keep them from him. Braco, hearing the noise of the 
Grants, came downstairs and said, with seeming unconcern and good- 
humour, that he intended to have sent them to prison, but he saw they were 
protected by too strong a party for him to contend with, and he must give 
them up ; but without losing a moment he took a turn through the market, 
found other two Justices of the Peace, lield a court, and assembled sixty 

• James Abercromby. ' A corruption of St. Malrubius' fair. 


bold men who retook the criminals. Tlicy were sent to prison, carried to 
10dinl)arj^h and tried ; they wore both condcinned to be banged. 
Macphcrson's sentence was executed,' but by Grant's interest Brown's 
was changed into banishment. 

' I have lieard likewise, that to all his relations and allies, Alex. Duff 
of Braco was a faithful firm friend, and would liave gone any length to 
serve them. In a word, lie was a very significant man in his time, and bore 
great weight in the public and private transactions of the Shire of Banff 
while he lived. One trifling anecdote, wliich I heard from his nepliew, old 
Ilatton, shews his acuteness and tiie quickness of his reflection to that point 
which he seems to have bad alwise in view. A stm-dy Beggar, having 
heard that he bad pickt uj) a halfpenny from the street of Banff, came up 
to him craving an alms and saying, " God bless yc, Braco. Gi 's a babee, 
and if ye winna gi 's a babee of your awcn, gi 's the babee tliat ye land." 
" Find a babee to yourself," says Braco. 

' lie made a great many additions to the Family estate in his father's 
time, whom he only survived five or six years ; ^ they both joined in bringing 
about the Purchase of the noble estate of Balvenie, which they had in view 
from about the year 1G75, and completed in 1G87 ' (Baird). 

This castle is one of the finest ruins in the north of Scotland, and 
contained the magnificent room known as the Dane's hall. ' Tiie building 
bears traces of occupation by the Stewarts, Earls of Athol, who built it, 
and tlie national arms occupj^ a niclie over the entrance door. The strong 
gate is still in position. In its palmy days the castle consisted of a large 
square occupying about a Scotch acre in extent, with a lofty tower at the 
gateway and turrets at tlie four angles. Since 1720 it has been roofless, 
an<l is now a complete ruin.' ^ 

Cordiner says : ' Through all the jieriods to which our more 
authentic histories extend, the possession of this fortress was an object 
of amliition to the most noble and jiowerful families of the kingdom. 
Tiierc is a large circular tower at the S.E. corner and small towers on the 
other angles.' ' In the book of the Barons and Freeholders of the 
Sheriffdom of Banff, lG()l<-17-22, the iMaster of Saltounc is entered in 1G85 
for Balvenie ; in IGOG, Alexander Duff of Braco for the lordship of 

He purcliascd many other estates in Banffshire. In IGSt there is 
an order by the Marquis of lluntly to the tenants of Grange to 'grind 
out ' their corn at the Nether Mills of Strathyla jjossesscd by Alexander 
Duff of Braco. 

' At Banff on tlie Gallowhill. - If was in reality nine years. 

•■ Sliaw'i hliitory uJ Mutay. * Cordiiier's Reiiiayliablv Jfiiiiis. 


As i>|i|H';irs ("loin the description ol' tlic Innds comprised in tlic Braco 
entail (Fife Estates Improvement Act, 18.58, 21 and 22 Vic. cap. 4), ' the 
lordship of IJalvcnie comprehends the tower, fortalice, mains, and manor 
place of Balvcnie, with yeards, orehyeards, miln, milnlands, multures, ^ 
sequells,- woods, lishings, parts, pendicles and })ertincnts thereof, advoca- 
tion, donation and rights of patronage of the parish ];irks of Keith and 
Grange and the whole tcinds, as well great as small parsonage and vicarage 
of the said parishes. Also the lands of Middle and West Bochromes, half 
davoch ^ lands of Lettervandich, and half davoch lands of Braigach, 
Cluniebcg, Medder Cluny, the eight oxgate of land of Milntoun of Balvenie, 
Lynemore, Dcllachame and Suecoth, lialf davoch lands of Bellyhack, 
davoch lands of Rndderie and Lyne, Parkmore, Little Tullich, T.ettoch, 
Auldachlaggan, lands and barony of Edinglassie, with castle tower, fortalice, 
etc., Meikle Dummeath, Lesser Dummcath, Suecoth, Pittavaich, Laighie, 
Tomnanuiid, Parkbcgg, etc., etc.. Tiic aforesaid lands lie in the parishes 
of Mortlaeh, Al)erlour, and (ilass.' 

Tlic castle of Balvenie, built by the Earls of Athol, came next 
into the jjossession of Abernethy of Saltoun and then into that of the 
family of Lines. Arthur Forbes of Blacktown attempted to purchase it 
about 16GS, but he had neither the capital nor the business capacity to 
carry through such a transaction. He, however, assumed the title of 
Balvenie in 1070-1071, but a few years later Alexander Duff of Braco and 
his father began to lend Forbes small sums of money and afterwards bought 
up a great many of his debts, amounting in all to £21,000 Scots. In 1087 
Alexander Dul'l' of Drummuir, who seems to have been acting for Bi'aco 
against the unfortimate Arthur Forbes, obtained ' a decreet of removing ' 
to tin-!i him out, and so got possession of the estate. An action Avas raised 
against Braco b("fore the Privy Council for some acts of violence com- 
mitted upon Forbes and his tenants, but, as Baird sagely observes, ' Braco 
being in possession of all the rents, the process went heavily on, and Arthur 
died himself in lOOt or '9.').' After this, Braco redeemed the wadsets upon 
th:it estate as soon as tlicy expired. ' There were likewist; at that time, a 
great many of small owners of parcels of the Lordship of l^alvenie, mostly 
in the Parish of Mortlaeh.' 

' Mitllitrc, the fee for primling grain. 

' Sequels, siuiiU jjarccls of corn or meal given as a fee to the servants, over and above what 
is paid to the imiltiircr, and they pass hy tlie name of knavesliip, and of bannock and lock or 
t;ovv]ii.'n (Jainicsoii's Srols Diitiouary). 

'■' Dariili or Diiuaili is exi)laino<I by Mr. Cosmo Inncs, in his work entitled Scotch Legal 
Avlir/iiilies, thus — an oxgnle, or ' what effeired to the cultivation of one ox, where plcuch and 
scytlie may gang,' was 13 acre:. Husband-land, 2 oxgatcs, 26 acres, riough-'^otc, tlic qiKuilily 
of land tilled by 8 oxen, ii>| acres. [)avach, Cijual to four ploughs, .\ib acres. 


A story is told of liini, tliat fftizin;^ one diiy upon tlio nunil)(;r of little 
lionu'stciuls lyiiif,' in this vjiiley Ik: rttniiukcd, ' 1 'II j^ar u' that reel'; ffiu; thro' 
ac luiii yet.' For the English reiuler, we may explain tJiat it was his in- 
tention to cause all the smoke irom the various I'ainily hearths to pass up 
one chimney, presumably his o'wn. To continue from Baird : 

' All these Braco deprived of their heritage at as little expense as he 
could. And it is too well known and nuich to be regretted that he was 
not very ceremonious either as to the Legality or Equity of the method ; 
and I really believe his severe and oppressing treatment of these little 
rroprietors who were not able to defend themselves brought a great deal 
of Odium upon his name, and made John, Earl of Kintorc, add a new 
petition to his Prayers, " Lord, keep the Hill of Foudlin between me and 
Braco." ^ 

' William Duff of Braco and the late J>ord Fife purehast several parts 
of the Lordslii|) of Balvenie which came in the market in their time in a 
fair and candid manner, and most of them at high prices, so that the 
present Lord Fife now possesses a very great part of that Estate ; and I 
believe he and his pi-edccessors have, considering everything, paid an 
adequate price for the Whole.' 

There was a curious incident connected with the estate of Balvenie, 
when it was in the hands of the Abernethys of Saltoun. ' One James 
Abernethy (grand-uncle to the last RLiyen, who nuiniid Jean Duff of 
Ilatton), a near relation of Lord Saltoun, an advocate and manager of cause 
against Stewart of Blackball, a sly fellow, went to liOndon in 1G57 and, 
being projjcrly recommended to Oliver Cromwell, got an order fron\ him 
to Lcnthall, then Master of the Rolls, to allow him to inspect the Records 
and other writs from Scotland, which were lodged in the Tower, upon pre- 
tence that some personal papers belonging to Alexr. Lord Saltoun had been 
carried up in mistake, and there he tore out three leaves from the records 
of the Court of Session of the year 1G05 which contained the Decreet loosing 
the voluntary Interdiction of John, Lord Saltoun, in 1000, and brought theni 
with him to Scotland, without comnuinicating what he had done to any 
person. His villainy was not discovered till Martinmas 1G91. His 
brother Alexander found the three leaves among James' papers after his 
death, lout concealed the thing to save his brother's mcmor)-, and enclosed 
them in a box of wood which he fixt under a couple in a new house which 
he was then building ; - but at his own death he imparted the whole, under 
promise of secrecy, to one James Ogilvie his nephew ; and he, when on his 

' Another version of Uiis t-tory gives the phrase as being ' between nie and that damned 

* Now the farm of Mains of Mayen. 


own deathbed, loiielicd witli remorse ol" conseience and nnder great agony 
ol' mind for liaving coneealed it so long, aeknowledged llie wiiolc and signed 
ji declaration ol' all the eireumstances whieii was sent to Edinburgh. A 
search was then made, the box found and sent to Edinburgh. The three 
leaves tallyed exactly with the place from which they had been torn, and 
were writ on jiaper of the same stamp. The Lords ordered them to be 
replaced and accounted as part of the record in all time coming. But this 
replacement was of no great consequence at that time ; for the family of 
Saltoun and their trustees had, several years before, surrendered all their 
rights upon Balvenie ' (Baird). 

The wadset of Bellyhack, in the same district, was obtained by Alex- 
ander of Braco from Adam of Drummuir in 1G81 . The subsequent history 
of that transaction will be found in chapter xxiv. Tiie ' Disj)osition ' by 
John Abercromby of the lands of Drummuir to Duff of Braco 1082 ; 
the ' Decreet of Adjudication,' Alexander Duff of Braco against the repre- 
sentatives of the late Adam Duff of Drununiiir 1G85, and the ' Dis])Osition ' 
of wliole estate of Drummuir by Alexander of Braco to Alexander Duff, 
merchant in Inverness, September 1688, are also fully explained in the 
chapter on Drummuir. 

From 1G77, Alexander Duff was ' of Braco,' for in that year there is a 
sasine to Alexander Duff of Lettach (and Kcithmore) and Alexander Duff 
his son, writer, of the lands of Biaeo, Nethermill of Strath isle, etc. In 
1696, after his father's death, there was a disposition by William C'umming 
of Auchen of the lands of Letervandich and Braecach in favour of Alexander 
Duff of Braco. 

' Besides the fishings on Dovern from Lords Airly and Cullen, and 
Dounc from Lord Cullen and other lands near Banff, Braco bought a great 
deal in the Strathisle and about Keith. 

' There was tlicn a number of small Ileretors in that country, most of 
whom ran in debt ; all their estates he piekt up, some from the ])ro|)rietors 
but acquired many of them by buying \\p their debts and adjudications, 
comprysings, or oilier slump or im])erl'eet rights on their land, as with the 
lands of Balvenie. And if he only got jiosscssion he was not very scrupu- 
lous about the security more than about the Justice of his title, by which 
means these Gentlemen or their heirs had many of them Claims and Com- 
plaints too well founded for the most part ; in all these his son, one of the 
most upright worthy men alive, did everybody Justice by entering into a 
fair compt and reckoning, and paying them the ballance which appeared 
to be due, and the last Lord Fife told me that all these clearances cost his 
cousin above a hundred thousand pound Scots, and there was two or three 
which, by minority of the Claimants or other accidents were left for him to 


transact,' and added to tlic numerous lawsuits whicli kept him ))usy 
(J{uird). Sec elia|)tc:r ix. 

Ai.KXANDKK Dui'i' ol' Braco, horn lO.VJ, died in Deeemher 1705; he 
married, in 1678, Margaret Gordon of Lcsmoir, wlio died 17'21. Tlieir 
children were : 

1. Maugakkt, jjorn 1070, and married, in lG9-t, Charles Gordon oi' 

2. Helen, born circa 1U81, married about 1700 William Gordon of 
Farskaue, whence the Grant Duff family. 

3. Mary, born circa 1G83, married Alexander Abcrcromby of Tillie- 
body, CO. Clackmannan. 

4. William, born circa 1G8j (he was apparently not ' of age ' at his 
father's death), died 1718. 

5. Anna, born 1G89, died unmarried. 

William will be treated of in the next chapter. The daughters in 
chapter xxxii. 

Later on in his book, garrulous old William Baird, in dealing with the 
rise in fame and fortune of ' the lucky Duffs,' adds : ' Those of this name 
in this country owed their success in their private affairs merely to their 
bestowing more attention upon the management of them than many others 
did. Mr. Hay of Dclgaty, who was an exeeeduig good judge of men and 
things, used to say that he thought the Duffs were rather well managers of 
their own money than covetous of other peojile's. I am afraid {and this is 
tlie sig)iificant passage in the present conneclion) Alex. Duff of Braco was 
an exception to this rule ; but there is an old and musty maxim " Exceptio 
firmat rcgulam 1 " ' 

He goes on to say : ' Most of the fortunes of the Duffs have been 
acquired l:)y Husbandry or Trade, joined with good economy, both innocent 
and commendable callings, and two principal Sources of the population, 
Prosperity and wealth of a nation ; and I do not remember that any of the 
name ever held a lucrative jiost under the CJovcrnment. 

' It is also to be noted that the family of Duff, that is Keilhmorc and 
his three sons, Braco, Dipplc, and Craigston, his grandson William Duff of 
Braco, and his brother Provost Duff, antl his son, all abounded in money 
at a period of time in the first part of which money was scarce. Land cheap. 
Interest high, and Rents low, and all the noble Familys about them, Gordon, 
Finlatyr, Duffus, etc., with most of the Landed Gentlemen of large fortunes, 
sunk in debt by means of the Civil wars and other public conmiotions, 
wherein they had almost all Iieen involved on one side or the other at vast 
expense and but lately come out of. And in the last part of this time the 
Tenantry in many parts of the country were left in a miserable condition 


by Llic seven years ol' Famine preceding 1700, wliieli Iiad made land ol' very 
little value hy laying it waste in many plaees, and makirig a great searcity 
ot Farmers ; Jbr all these concurring eireumstanees were favourable to 
purchasers and gave these gentlemen the connnand ol' the Market ' (Baird). 

At one jieriod, indeed, a great part of Banffshire, IMoraysliire, and 
Aberdeenshire was in the hands of members of the Duff family, with out- 
lying estates in Kincardine and Forfar. Vast estates were owned by the 
head of the family, and tlie numerous cadet branches, many of which have 
since died out, owned smaller ])roperties. Titles to farms, single houses, 
or what would now be called crofts, were granted by the head of the family 
to all tliose relatives who would accept them, for political purposes. See 
chapter xi. 

Tlietwo following letters from Alexander of Braeo to his father,and tohis 
cousin of Drummuir, are interesting as showing his anxiety to keep always 
within the letter of the law and to make ])rofit out of all transactions. In 
the account of the family of Drummuir the i)art he played in connection 
with the bankruptcy of Adam, the troubles with his widow, and the re- 
demption of the estates, will be duly noted. His name occurs in dozens of 
lawsuits and other disputes with all the jiarties concerned. 

Alexander Duff of Braco to his father 

' IJkaoo, Dee. 18, 1685. 
' Loving FATUEn, — I received yours but yesterday in the afternoon, and I 
think strange you were so long in advcrtisuig me and in taking some course 
against that charge of horning, for the other charges arc of less moment, 
but the charge of horning may lead to demur and to putting your single 
escheat in hazard. Tluy inform nic you received the charge on Saturday and 
this is the OLli day and the ehiirge is witliin six days so that it is no reineilyc: but 
to post a bearer presently south and write, with this line, one line to Drununuir 
and desire him give in ane bill of suspension both for you and nie, for it is prob- 
able I may receive the like by fees and shall oblige ourselves to warrant him of 
his reward, for it is fit he be cautioner. And send four or live dollars and if it 
be any more, order Druinnmir to advance it. Send immediately forward this 
line of mine to Mr. Thus. Gordon and l\Ir. A. Gordon and to Drununuir. I will 
trouble you no more at present, but if you can come here on ]\Ionday at night 
I shall go with you to your place, because I sent all the letters from Crombie. — 
I am, your loving son, Alex. Duff.' 

Alexander of Braco to Alexander of Drinnvndr 

'Dec. 28, 1685. 
' Honoured and loving Cousin, — I writ to you the other day in reference 
to that affair of Horning of my father's and mine. . . . 


'Mr. William GnnlDii sailh lie Jial.h juiI, my cliartcr niidcr Itic ^rcjit, sf:il of 
the Lands of JJalvciiic, or Arthur Korhcs iuljiidicalioM which 1 jiid;,'cd in my l)csL 
memory, I sciiL soiiLli with yon to town. I jicrccivc the man is turned altogether 
lax and dcbauehed and I am in a panic fear that he has either losed my papers 
or consigned of some for his debts, and I could be gladly quit of him and have 
my papers out of his hands. But this will be gone about wisely and in a fair 
manner and without letting him know anything of my suspicions and jealousy, 
and if so, yt)U must earrj' his own letters to him, but keei) them up until 3'ou try 
his pulse and tell him that yon and he nnist consult some law in my affairs against 
Stewart and against Arthur Foj-bes, and for that effect pray him to take out all 
my papers which you will find written, with any parts under my hand written 
ujion the end of one of his own letters. .-Vlex. Duff.' ^ 

In the Seafield Correspondence, edited by .Tames Grant, LL.B., there are 
various letters to and from Alexander of Braco, and rcrcrcnccs to him. 

On October 29, 1097, Sir Patrick Ogilvie writes to the Earl of Findlater : 
' I have given j'our I>dp: the trouble of this letter to let you know that I 
can get Braeo's son - to my daughter, and he is to give him twanty thousand 
marks a year fric of any burden, and all the rest lie hath after his death, and 
he will have from me with my dauchtcr all the land I liave, but I am to get 
ten thousands marks and all the nuiabils, so I would have your Ld|).'s 
opinion in it, for I think it is a good bargain.' 

The marriage, however, did not take place, for ^Villiam Duff married 
Melen Taylor ten years later. 

In 1099, Alexander of Braco writes to the Earl of Findlater ' anent 
rogues guilty of many crimes who are by the court ordained to be carryed 
to Cullen and yr: to be putt to death.' 

In that same year he announces his ])ureliase of Donne (afterwards 

In January 1702, he writes again to Lord Findlater, being apparently 
extremely anxious to recover a sum of money lent by liim to Findlater's 
son. Lord Seafield, as he has ' a considerable soume to Y>a.y against the terme 
of Witsunday.' The editor of tliis Correspondence adds a note to the effect 
tiiat nothing was scarcer in Scotland at that time than money .^ 

In a ])ostscript to a letter from Anna, I-ady Seafield to Loid Findlater, 
of date December 21, 1705, it is stated ' Brachy dayed on \\'adsenday 

Braco was buried in the old church of Grange ; but his bodv was after- 

' Dnimmiiir papers. ° Tlicii aqcd twelve! 

' Letter from John Abercromby, at Birkcnbog, to the I.aird of Drummuir at Inverness, 
November 25, 1701 : ' Davitston is in danger of being imprisoned for debt. Send him ilrafts 
payable by Braco. We are all slraightit for want of money at this terra, for there is no money 
among the country peuplos at this term.' 


wards removed to the mausoleum at Duff TIousc, wiicn tlie following 
inscription was ])luce(l on his monument : 

' Frigido sub hoc nuirniorc jacct 

Alexander Duff de Uracco 

ex auUiiua familia D. D. Joanais de Ci'aighcad et D. Ilclennrae Hay ejus conjuo'is 

fihac K-giliniae eomitis de Enzie ab avo ejusdeni fainiliac filio iieenon ex prae- 

elaro MeDiiffo Fifne ThaiKi ejusdeni iiominis eoiyphae:) a\ita oriundus sLirpe 

ope et opeia, virtutc ac frugalitate, alto consilio cL intrepido eorde paternos 
liniites lutud paulo ampliavit ob incorruptam mentcm, iuviolatam hdeni in justo 
proposito CDnstantiam in eodem prosequendo audaciam ae omnia optinii civis 
judieia (inmibus jirobis luctuosum sui desideriuni reliquit. 
Obiit 19 Die Decern, a.d. 1703. 
Aetatis 53.' 

Translation : 

' Under this cold marble lies Alexander Duff of Braeo of the old family of 
John Duff of Craighead and Lady Eleanor Hay, lawful daughter of the Lord 
of Enzie, descended from the family through his grandfather, as well as from 
Macduff, the celebrated Thane of Fife, who was chief of his race. By energy, 
activity, perseverance and economy, profound sagacity and undaunted courage, 
he greatly extended the boundaries of his paternal estate and died 19th Dec. 
1705, in the 53rd year of his age, deeply regretted by all good men for the sound- 
ness of his principles, for his high sense of honour, for his firmness in a just pur- 
pose and his boldness in carrying out the same, as well as for all the sentiments 
which characterise a good citizen.' 

There is a portrait of Alexander Duff by Richardson in the Duff House 
colleetion, here reproduced by permission of the Princess Royal. 

As so many hard things have been said about Alexander Duff of Braeo, 
the following extract may lierc fitly find a i)Iace. 

l''r()ni 77/c of Spijiiic, by Robert Young: 

' The rise of the family of Duff is owing to various reasons. In the first 
])lace, for five or six generations it was, without exception, comjiosed of tlie 
most shrewd, calculating, long-headed men, \v\\o turnetl everytliiug to the 
greatest advantage, and lost no opportunity of improving their jjosition. 
They turned their attention to merchandising and trading at a very event- 
ful period in the history of tlie country, and had the command of ready 
money when very few in the north had it. The country was exhausted by 
the long civil wars of the seventeenth century. The nobility and gentry 
were generally poor, were anxious to get loans, and to mortgage their lands. 
The long succession of bad harvests, in the end of seventeenth and begin- 

{) f • ,1(1 '!• ) -I ' iv I Ji/i ».i > -' / I 1 
.; , II..-. '. ,..,,lr ,-.^lI I '! I (-■ ■■.! iifi I 'I' 

/s.1.1^ jc..^2'i n i: It 2:> "U" f j? o 'p ji h. /vc g 

./■/>' .- Ai?ui ■ h'it:J7t f/i .'^v. /; 



ning of the eighteenth century, also depreciated the value of land, and the 
unfortunate Darien scheme (1C;J5-'J'J) nearly ruined Scotland. In these 
various depressing circumstances there was a fine opportunity for acquiring 
land, and the Duffs did not lose the chance. They dealt largely in wadsets 
and other mortgages, which were never redeemed, and they readily fore- 
closed them, or purchased up the rights of reversion for very small sums, 
and entered into absolute possession. Much of their lands were acquired 
by wadset rights. There was nothing unfair in this. It was the order and 
practice of the day. The Duffs made their money by merchandise, agri- 
culture, private banking, money-lending, and other arts of industry and 
peace, pursued for a long period of time, and with every favourable advan- 
tage, and thus acquired an enormous estate by fair trade. They offer a 
favourable contrast to most of the ancient families in the north, who gained 
their estates generally by war and bloodshed, and preying on their weaker 
neighbours. The rise of most of the old families of Scotland is a painful 
history, and the Duffs need not fear to contrast their actings and acquisi- 
tions with any others, for they will bear a close inspection. They were 
men of good conduct, just in their dealings, honourable, some of them 
religious, and strictly fulfilled all their engagements.' 



-j:^^'-::.; •- .^Vjjr: J" ■ i •■ 







William Duff of Braco,^ only son of Alexander of Braco and Margaret 
Gordon, is thus described by Baird : 

' William Duff of Braco got a very competent education at school and 
college with a good private Tutor, then studied the civil law at Leyden, 
and there acquired an excellent taste for all polite literature. He made 
abroad, at London, and at Edinburgh, a large collection of books, in Latin, 
French, Italian, and English, of Classic Learning, civil law, History, and all 
the branches of the Bellcs-Lettres. 

' He married, about 1706, Helen Taylor, a woman of much inferior rank 
to him, tho' come of very honest parents. It is alTirmed by his friends 
that his penitence and anger at himself for making so low a match was the 
cause of his unhappy death. - 

' But, to do his widow Justice, who has now outlived him about sixty 
years, she has, by her virtuous behaviour, charity to the poor, hospitality 
and good offices to all lier Husband's Relations, Allys and friends, to whose 

1 Born circa 1685. 

' He committed suicide at Balvenic Castle in January 1718. 

ojifiU lo Tjbflflxc'/ 1o fif 


memory she has still sho'wn a most grateful regard and attachment, gained 
the estei'Mi ot all who know her.' 

Iler husband had a great opinion of her business eapaeity, and left his 
affairs largely in her liands. Margaret Gordon, widow of Alexander Duff 
of Braeo, writing in 1718, refers to ' the deceast William Duff of Bi'acco 
my son, and the charges I was at on his account in repairing the Miln barn 
of Braeo, victual houses of Nether milln of Strathisia and house of Eden, 
conform to an order drawn by him upon Helen Duff his spouse, as factor 
for him.' 

The order is also in existence, and must have been Avritten only a few 
days before his death. 

William Duff of Braeo to his ivifc Helen Taylor 

' Balvenie, ISth Januarie 1718. 

' Dearest, — Thcs arc ordering you to pay to my Mother on sight hereof one 
Thousand nierks as wluit I am to allow her ffor rcppairing the Victucl house of 
Ncitlicr I\Iill of Stryla and on the dwelling House of Eden and gctt up my letter 
to her thcrancnt and ane letter ffrom her that I have ordered you to allow her 
tlie same and that you done it aeordingly ffor docing whcrof this is warand from 
and shall be allowed in your ffactory aeeompts by William Duff. 

' All former warrands to my Mother or you ffor this purpose, tho in her or 
your hands inckided. William Duff. 

' ffor Helen Duff my Spouse.' ^ (D.) 

' Braeo was a most benevolent, generous man, adored by his servants 
and farmers, who all lamented his death as if they had lost their father. 
Several of the old people at Balveny told me that the winter before his death 
he offered all his Tenants long leases at the present rent, and gave them to 
such as were willing to accept. 

' When Lord Marishall was attainted in 1715, Braeo told ]Mr. Keith his 
Doer at Aberdeen, and to whom Peter Duff, Braco's cousin, was then bound 
apprentice, that if £10,000 Str. would procure his pardon, he was willing 
to pay the money, and there was found in his Cabinet, after his death, an 
order to Mr. Duff, who did all his term affairs at Aberdeen, to pay Mr. Keith 
£500, to be sent as he had concerted with that gentleman before, which 
was to remit it to Lord I\Iarishall. This order was dated a few days before 

' C/. ' James Duff in Mains of Ardbrack grants rae to have received in friendly borrowing 
from Helen Duff, spouse to \Vm. Duff of Braeo, the sum of ten shillings sterUng, 1711. The 
same James Duff grants discharge of legacy 20 merks Scots left by his brother Alex.' This 
James Duff has not been identified. 


Braco died, and never given to Mr. Dufr. Both tlicsc particulars Mr, Keith 
told nie, uiid Braco was no Sliulller. 

' lie went over to Holland in the end of 171G, and after slayinr; in that 
Country till next Spring he proceeded to Prince Eugene's Camp in Hungary, 
and was at the Siege of Belgrade ; he returned to Scotland in the beginning 
of mntcr, 1717, and died at Balveny in the month of January 1718. He left 
only one daughter,^ Margaret, who was married in June 1721, when but 
eleven years of age, to her cousin Peter Duff ; he died in December 17G3, 
without issue, and in 17G8 she married Alexander Udny ' (Baird). 

That Peter or Patrick Duff, son of Patrick of Craigston (q.v.) thought 
he was doing a somewhat odd thing, which required justifieation, in marry- 
ing this child-heiress, whose affairs he was managing, is evident from the 
following letter, which he wrote to his cousin, Alexander Duff of Drummuir : 

Patrick Duff of Premnay to the Laird of Drummuir at Inverness 

' Much Hon'd Sir, — I had the pleasure of yours, I am very fond to have your 
approbation of my marriage, you may believe, if tyme had allowed, I had writt 
you of it before, if it puts it in my power to be so much the more useful to my 
friend, I '11 reckon myself very happy. . . . 

' My Moyr. in Law and my Wife offer you, your Lady and family their very 
kind service, and I shall be alwise very heartily and with all respect, Sir, Your 
affect, cousin and most obedt, servt., Patt. Duff. 

'Aberdeen, Aug. 8th, 1721.'* 

There are three letters from this William Duff to Alexander of 
Drummuir among the Drummuir papers : 

• To the Much honoured, the Laird of Drummuir, These. 
' Much Honoured, — I have yours and was come from Edinburgh or it came 
to hand. I shall gladly waite on you any time after Candlemas att Elgin or any 
place you aj^point. In the meen time, I give my humble and kind respects to 
your self, your father, Ladic and family and to all Friends, and I ever am, Much 
honoured. Your most affectionate cusin and most humble servant, 

' William Duff. 
' BalveniEj "nd Junuarie 1712.' 

The same to the same 

' Much Honoured, — I have gone South, most part on account to be in a 
condition to perform my father's obligation to you, which tho' it were to the 

* There were four children, but three died young. 
» Drummuir papers. 


greatest stranger I would do to the utmost of my power. Mr. Boyds tells me he 
was still ready to have waited upon you at Edinburgh and Tillybody writes the 
same. Mr. lioyds sayes many of these papers ye took up from me are ranked 
in your own name, and my ffather's obligation presented by you to make up your 
right thereto. If there be anything wanting to perform the said obligation 
to the full on either side, if ye be not coming up your Self, write to your Lawiers 
your Demands, and I shall consider them and perform them, in so far as coneerns 
the said obligation. Mr. Boyds has some thoughts of going your length, ye may 
send an cxaet double as I have oft demanded of the said obligation to him and 
an order to your agents to make fortheoming what papers they have relative 
to the performance thereof, as I wrote fully to you in my last, I shall never think 
that since I am so willing to perform my part, that one of your prudence especi- 
ally considering our relation, would propose any thing beyond the terms of your 
obligation. I have since I began to write, got yours with the Inclosed for John 
Stewart. I give my service to your ffayther, your self, your lady and all of your 
friends and believe me still to be, much hond: Your aff: cousin and most humble 
Servt: William Duff. 

'Abdn., 27 April 171-1. 

' I have communieat to Mr. Boyds my thoughts pretty fully anent what the 
differences are or may happen tmxt you and me and if ye please to do the same 
und consider what proper methods can be taken for performing what I am bound 
to do, with the terms of my father's obligation to you, then I will conform to it.' 

Another letter from the same to the same 

' Much Honoueed, — I am favoured with yours dated the fourteenth of this 
month and besides our Relation, I shall always reckon my Self very much bound 
to you for your many favours, particularly for your Care of my affairs During 
my minority and your Discretion and kindness to me all along. I intreat if 
you intend south this Summer on your pose to end that obligation you have 
from my Father, you would be pleased to send south the Double of it ten or 
twelve Days before you come your Self that I may consider with friends and be 
the more capable to perform it. This is all the business I know is betwixt us. 
I expect Diple also here, for I intend to expede a Charter upon my lands in favors 
of my self and heirs male upon my Tailzie. I desire to deal frankly with you. 
I reed, once ane unsign'd memorandum wch Diple told me he had from you, 
in well there was some proposals for dismcmbring my superioritys and the lands 
of Balvenic, which I neither can nor will grant to any man, or I had done it to 
you, therefore I earnestly beseech you to consider seriously and to ask nothing 
of me wch is extraneous and impossible, for in all other things there shall be none 
more willing to testify themselves. — Much Honoured Cusine, Your most humble 
Servt., William Duff. 

'EDiNBuncH, May 2ltt, 1717.' 

.1^ .-U'HUl.KMil 


A letter from Iiis hrotlier-in-ljiw Alexander Aberrromhy of I'iliiebody, 
who nianied Mary, his third sister, cxplniniiijr a claim he had a^'ainst 
deceased Braco, says : 

' 4th July 1717. £G0 was for business, in sending £200 stg. to Vienna, Braco 
having wrote me that he designed to go to the Imperial Camp. 

' December 1717. Braco having wrote me from the Imperial Camp a letter 
that Colonel Gibson, Durie's brother, was so kind to him that he desired me to 
give Durie and the rest of his brethren at Edinburgh a handsome entertainment 
and got letters of recommendation from them in favour ol Braco to the Colonel, 
desiring him to take care of Braco, because he was a stranger and not well in his 
health, which I did, and had all Braco's friends, with Durie and his friends in 
town. It was in Don's house, cost £48,' 

There are also, still existing, bills drawn by William Duff on Patrick 
Duff his cousin and factor (afterwards his son-in-law), dated Rotterdam, 
May 12, 1717, and Vienna, June 12, 1717, and September 1, 1717. The 
battle of Belgrade, which resulted in the brilliant victory of Prince Eugene 
and the Austrians over the Turks, took place on August 10, 1717, and after 
this date William Duff seems to have returned to Scotland. The two 
following letters refer to this period : 

William Duff to Patrick Duff of Premnay 

'Ca3ip before Belgrade, 13/A August 1717. 
' Sir, — Ive no doubt but you will be surprysed that I draw so much money 
but this is ane good distance and costs more money as I thought of. The Ilunder 
Ducats were honestly payd me and they cost Mr. Taylor of Amsterdam ffive 
hundcr and sixty dutch gilders curtt, who bought up ane Bill and endorsd it to 
me in reckoning, if Mr. Auchterlony offer the sd hunder Ducats so you will order 
the payment of the same and gett the ncccssaire aquitanecs of that and my Bills 
ffrom this and Vienna both on you and my Mother. If you or any other ffrcind 
hase sent orders to London ffor any more credit on my aceompt cause recall them 
because I am to come doun soon to fllanders and will not write more from this 
no^v draw ffor any mony if it be not some small thing perhaj)s on Mr. Gordon 
and then I shall acquaint you and you shall be honestly relieved and payed of 
all my Bills and my wife will give you mony as it can be gott and always as she 
pays you give her the ncccsarie discharged Bills I avised. — Your affect, eusine 
and Servant, William Duff.' 

Lady Braco to Patrick Duff, Writer in Aberdeen 

' Sir, — I hae yours with Mr. Archibald Grants to you inclosed. I am very 
glad my Lord Cullen has consented to take his mony plcasantlj'. I shall (God 

cm > '4-j ' .' UvJii j^>ii'i< •-'■11 I Ji 


willing) do all I can to gctt it ready and how much he takes at Aberdeen so much 
the better. I have not been able to go to Rolhiemay ^ since your last, but how 
soon I shall be able to go I shall wait upon him and send you his answer by post 
or express. I have gott no mony from John, William, James nor Robert Duff but 
I am hopcfull to gett quit the midle of the next month. I cannot be sure before 
that time how much 1 will have occasion to Borrow from Diple. Let Robert 
Moors mony be apart of the thing thats payed at Aburdeen and what mony you 
have of Braccos beside you, you may bring it out in Gold and gctt ane account, 
if you can, how nuieh Lord Cullen will have payd at Aberdeen if Diple call for 
the factory I will let him see it but will not registratt it till I see further. Let 
me hear from you when you gett Blr. ffordgies return, and I am. Sir, Your humble 
servant, Helen Duff. 

' ISalvkny, Sqit. 23n/, 1717. 

' To Mr. Patrick Duff, ^Vrittcr in Aberdeen.' 

William Duff committed suicide at Balvenie Castle early in 1718 ; ^ the 
castle has never since been inhabited.^ That it was, at one time, used as 
a fortress appears from the memorial by William Duff's uncle and successor 
(William of Dipple) to Walpole : 

• Memorial of William Duff of Braeo to the Hon. Sir Robert Walpole, Chan- 
cellor of the Exchequer, 
' Wm. Duff of Bracco, his predecessor during the Rebellion (1715), garri- 
soned the Castle of Ballveny, in Banffshire, and defended it against the rebels 
until it was delivered into the hands of Col. William Grant's lieutenant. Gave 
a general bond to the defenders, securing pensions, etc. Prays to be discharged 
of about £200 for non-entry dues, for which his predecessors were indebted to 
the Crown' (Calendar of State Papers, Record Ofhee). 

Simon Fraser, Lord Lovat, to Sir James Grant of Grant 

'Beaufort, Feb. 0th, 1739. 

' My dear Sir James, — Tho' the ofTiceis att Fort Augustus pretend without 

grounds that ]\Lijor White dyed lunatick, yet it is nothing as to the laws and 

customs of our country if it had been so ; for the Laird of Bracco, who murdcr'd 

himself, was believ'd to be for scvcrall years before, lunatick and mad, and 

1 William of Braco advanced money on this estate, which was afterwards bought by his 
cousin Lord Braco. Sec chapter ix. 

* There was one portrait of Wilham Duff of Braco in the Dutt House collection and another 
at Rothiemay. Both show an expression at once melancholy and discontented. 

" His cousin, William Duff, aftenvards Lord Braco, built the new house of Balvenie in the 
square French style. This was only inhabited for a short time, and stood empty for over a 
century. It is now used as a granary for a distillery. 

There is a receipted bill, dated March 1726, marked ' Accompt of the Horse hyres paid for 
carrying stones to the Boat of Fiddich for the House of Balvenie.' 



attempted to kill himsclt scverall times, abroad niul at home, before lie gave the 
fatal stroke at Halveny. Yet liis eseheat fell to the King, and the late King 
gave the gift of it to Brigadier Ker, the IJuke of Roxburgh's brother. I went in 
to the King's closet ane half hour after he got it, and his Majesty was so kind as 
to tell me that if I hade ask'd that gift one hour sooner I would have got it, but 
that he gave it to Mr. Ker, the Duke of Roxburgh's brother, who was then groom 
of the bedchamber in waiting, and he sold it for several thousand pounds tl) this 
Lord Bracco's father. So you see that pretended lunacy, even tho' bclicv'd 
to be reall, does not save escheats in Scotland ' (Eraser's Chiefs of Grants). 

The estate of Braco, which escheated to the Crown, was afterwards 
recovered by Braco's uncle, William Duff of Dipple, his heir-male, the estate 
of Eden only going to Margaret Duff, his daughter. Baird thus describes 
the subsequent j)roceedings : 

' When Dipple succeeded to his nephew as heir of entail, he granted to 
JIargaret Duff (that nepiicw's daughter) a bond of provision for £3000 
sterling, which was much about a year's rent of the Braco estate. But 
Premnay (her husband) being advised that lier father's Entail was liable 
to several objections, served his lady Heir of Line to him, and got her infeft 
in every part of the estate. But in 1724 matters were compromised, and 
he accepted of £10,000 sterling from William Duff, afterwards first Lord 
Fife, and he and his lady discharged all further pretension.' 

Patrick Duff of Culter died in 17C3, and his wife afterwards (1768) 
married Alexander Udny of Udny, he and slie being subsequently known 
as Mr. and Mrs. Udny-Duff ; he died 1789, and she in 1793, without issue. 

She left all her personal property to her cousin James, second Earl Fife, 
grandson of her adversary Dipple, when fresh lawsuits followed between 
him and her late husband's heirs. 

Eden passed to Margaret's great-nephew William Gordon, the heir of 
entail, who assumed the name of Duff, and subsequently to his niece, 
Margaret Milne Duff, and the Grant Duff family {q.v.). 

William's wife, Helen Taylor, as already stated, survived him and drew 
her jointure for sixty-two years, being over one hundred years old when 
she died. 

A portrait of her in middle life is at Rothiemay House, and one in 

extreme old age was in the Duff House collection. Her tombstone in 

St. Nicholas Churchyard, Aberdeen, bears the following inscription : 

' Helen Duff, 

relict of William Duff of Braco, 

who died (at Forrester hall) 20 Nov, 17S0.' 

This lady, on January 30, 1734, forty-six years before her death, 
intimated her desire that at her decease the Town Council would accept the 


sum of 2000 merks (£111 2s. 2d.) as a mortification for tlie purpose that 
the anmial rent or interest miglit be paid to a young woman. Tiie qualifica- 
tions of the damsel were that she should be sober, virtuous and poor, the 
daughter of a burgess of guild, a Protestant, and under the age of thirteen 
years. The rent of the mortification was to be applied for her education 
and maintenance in ' Learning Sueing and all Millinaris work, Pastrie and 
other such useful Education, fit for a Gentlewoman, within the town of 
Aberdeen, that may enable her to gain her bread honestly and in a lawful 

The Town Council were to become patrons after the decease of Patrick 
of Prcmnay and Margaret Dull', his spouse. 

There are two notes regarding Helen Taylor from the Rose IMSS., i)rinted 
in the Aberdeen Notes and Qnciies. The information given is somewhat 

' I. Genealogy of Ihkn Taylor, Lady Brace (taken July 1784. by Mr. Stewart 
of Edinglassie and givtii in before his death in Sept. 17S6). Slie was daughter 
of Robtrt Taylor wlio resided at the place of Fintry in Fintry parish. He was 
tiic rcprcsc-ntutixe and grandchild of Taylor of VVhitemircs, who sold the lands 
uf \Vhitcniires in Neuhills near Aberdeen, now an estate of about 3000 merks 
of rent and the jiroperty of the town of Aberdeen. Helen Taylor's mother was 
dauglitoT to Rev. M. Cheync, parson of Kinoull, brother to the Laird of Essle- 
niont. Iler grandmother, Mr. Cheyne's wife, was daughter to Sir John Jonston 
of Caskiebcn, and Sir John Gordon of Iladdo, afterwards Earl of Aberdeen and 
Chancellor of Scotland, was married to Mr. Cheyne's sister. Sir John Johnston's 
wife was daughter to the Laird of Drum, and Drum's lady was daughter to the 
Earl of I\Iarisehal.' 

' II. Lady Braco, Helen Taylor, was married in London about 1706. Her 
daughter Margaret, Lady Premnay, born 1710. Lady Braeco was born in Fin- 
tray. She keepit the sheep at Cook in the Parish of King Edward. Before her 
marriage she wrought a harvest with John Durno at Mill of Liklieliead, in Prem- 
nay, for which she got 4 merks and a pair of shoes. She served Jcihn Hay, 
sacrist at King's College and Margaret Tamiell his wife, M'here her acquaintance 
with Braeco begun. Braeco went to Prussia after the marriage, and exposed 
himself on the walls of Belgrade. He had four children by her. Braeco died 
in tiie old castle of Balvenie by suicide January 1718. Her husband insisted on 
her wearing plain and low mutches. She lay not on feathers, but on a hard bed 
of Baken hair called a pallet. She ate oat buttered bannocks. She was about 
thirty when she married. If so, and if she married in 1700, and died after 11th 
and before 22nd November 1780, she must have been over one hundred years 
old. It is certain she died November 1780, for Lord Fife contended her half- 
year's annuity. 

' Margaret Duff, Lady Premnay, married June 27, 1721, when scarcely 
twelve years old. It was well known she had an attachment to Major 


Home, Prince Rupert's frraiidsoii ' (Rose MSS., Aberdeen Nole.t and Querie.i, 
Auj^usL ISOJ). 

Prince Rupert liad a daughter Rupcrta, by Margaret Hughes, an 
actress. Ru]>erta married, about 1C9G, Brigadier-General Emanuel 
Scrope Howe, envoy-extraordinary from William in. to the Most Serene 
House of Brunswick-Luneberg. It must have been Ruperta's son who 
is alluded to above, but it is not stated when and v. here he met Margaret 

There is one letter from her : 

Mrs. Vdmj-Duff to Lord Fife 

' My Lord, — It will give me great pleasure to learn you have enjoyed good 
health and passed your time agreeably att Marr Lodge about this time you 
may probably be thinking of leaving that place and may make a visit at House- 
dale. It would give Mr. Udny and I great pleasure to have the honour of seeing 
you at Cultcr, which would be easy from thence. We know how much your 
eng-aged but to give a d:iy and a night which n>bs no time I really expect it, and 
you know I wish yo\i well and if I did not sincereh' desire the one and ardently 
wish you every fclcitj- beli\'c I would not trouble you with Compts en Passant. 

' Wcl thinkecan now depend on being here till first or second week of October. 

' I had good accounts from Logic yesterday. — Belive I, My Good Lord, I 'm 
with Particular Esteem your Lops, most obedient humble Ser\-t., 

' M. Udny-Dlff. 
' Colter, 5 of Spt.' 

And in a letter to Lord Fife from his sister Sophia, dated November 
1774, shortly after her marriage to Thomas Wharton, occurs the follow- 
ing : ' Did your Lordship write to Mrs. Udny ? I wish you would do so, 
as she is ver%' much interested in your family. She is a most formal being. 
I expect we shall have a dinner from her one of these days. I would rather 
go without one for a week ! ' 

There are portraits of Margaret Duff, when Jlrs Udny, and her second 
husband, Alexander Udnv, at Rothiemav. 





The second son of Alexander of Keitlimore was born 1G53 and died 1722. 
We cannot do better than l^egin our account ol' liini with anotlicr extract 
I'roni Baird's book : 

' Dipplc was a middle-sized, well-made man, oi'a lair, ruddy comj)lexion, 
and very good features, of solid sense, an active lively spirit, and a most 
facetious agreeable companion. Ilis sister, Lady Tannaehy, a very sensible 
well-bred woman, used to tell the following story, which she said had often 
been attested to her ljy l\cr father anil mother. 

' It was Keilhmor(;'s custom to sit beside his Lady the first night after 
she was delivered ; the night succeeding Dipple's birth, Keithmore was 
l)laecd near the fire with a candle before liim, reading tin' Bible ; about 
midnight, a tall big woman, clad in a green gown, appeared upon the floor 
and walkt up to the cradle in which the child was laid, and stretched out 
her hand over it, upon whicli Keithmore rose, ran to the bedside, and made 
the sign of the Cross, first on his Lady and then on the Infant, saying : 
" In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Ghost, may 
my Wife and child be {jrcscrved from all evil." Upon which tiic Apparition 
immediately vanisht.' 

After Dipple's education at scliool and college was over (he was at 
King's College, Aberdeen, in 1666, aged thirteen), lie was bound apprentice 
and afterwards became partner in trade to his uncle. Provost William 
Duff of Inverness (who traded as early as 1602), and Sir James Calder, and 
continued at Inverness till about 1703,i when he married his second lady, 
and they came to Elgin where he lived until his death.' It is believed 
that he lived for a short time at Dipple.- 

The 'trade' which he carried on with his uncle, the Provost, provides 
the foundation for the ridiculous story which appeared in Trutli at the time 

• He was Treasurer o[ Inverness, 16S2. 

- Dif'f^lc, an ancient parish in Moraysliirc, on the left hank o( the Spry, oii]iositc Fochabers. 
'I'lio cliiirih was formerly cleihcaled to Ihu Holy (ihosl, and at the lycli t;.ite stood a small 
hiiilding known as the House of the Holy Ghost, round which funeral parlies carried the cor]ise. 
There is no uiansiou-liouse now remaining, the present fannhouse being ijuito modern. 

a i«ii_idJ. 




of the Duke of Fife's death to tlie clfcct that his great-great-grandfather 
(sliould have liccn grcat-great-great-) came from Ireland, and kept a 
general raei'ehant's shop in Inverness. 

The following letters are interesting in this connection : 

William DiiffofDipple to his cousin, John Duff, Messenger, Aberdeen 

' Sir, — At five days sight of this my ouhc 2 Bills, payc to James Dunbar 
yr Merchant in Inverness or order the somme of anc hundred and twenty punds 
scots moe * for the value due to him for some sahnond oft that price sold by me 
to Alcxf fforbes and John Leslie, merchants in Aberdeen. Make good thereof 
and it shall be allowed by me in part off the [Izvo words illegible] sterling executed 
by you from them on my account which will be all from Your affect, cosine to 
serve yon, Wm. Duff. 

'Innks, 3 Ap. 1703." 

Laird of Inncs to William Duff of Dipjde, 1(385 

To 3 pints of Wine Lo the Public House . . 

To S Joints of ale to the Public House 

To an pint of Erandy ...... 

To Tobaco and sending therefor to Cullcn . 

To a mutchen of Tar ...... 

To a pint of "Vinegar ...... 

To half aueker of wliyte wine ..... 

To two dozen tobaco pypes ..... 

To sending twice from Garmouth to Inverness 

Nota — 3-f computed miles. 

To four pints of Sack Wine at IG sh. p. pint — not charged for. 

A peck of Whyte Salt 

A hail] Boll of Gray Salt 

Two stone of Butter at £3 is . 

Two stone of Tallow at 3 merks is .... . 


Scots money, £'23 12 " 

Sir Hugh CamphcU of Cawdor to William Duff of Dipple, Mcrchavt 
in Inverness 

' CAwnoii Casti.e, July 10, 1677. 
' Lo. Fkiknd, — Pray be pleased with your first occasion to cause bring the 
goods under wrylin from Holland or ciuherever ellis ye cane most readily, to me 


" Urummuir papers. 


to InvcriU'NS or l'"iiKllKiiii, jind Uic price of I hem shall l)t; rc.'ulily iillowcd you 
in your uccoiiipL. 

' IiiipriiTiis, us iiiucli lead (not to be cabLtii in casks, till it conic hoiii) as can 
be bought for £200 Scots at Holland or England. 

' Item, 3 or 4 duzzon of big glass botcllis, holding twixt a pint and a quart 
and als many lesser botcllis holding pyntcs or chajiynis. 

' Item, 50 or threcscor hansom light muskett barrelis, wnhich I mynt ' to 
stock and furniss at honi, for weapon gunnes to our watch or militia ; let them 
not be too long, nor too havy for a man to travell with his other waponis, and bee 
of ordinar muskett bor or rather less, but the ordinar bur will be good. 

' One hundreth or two weight of gune powder, \'ery good for the militia, the 
watch and my foullerics use, and one hnndrelh \veight of small sliott, the one 
half for mysell and the oilier halff of two sorls in equall pairt, one very great for 
veild geisse and roe and such lyk, and the other pairt pretty small, for pluveries 
and leisser foullis. 

' Item, als much fyn diaper or dornich - cloth as will make 3 or 4 tabel cloths 
of 4 eln long a peic and a dusson napkins to each tabel cloth. 

' Item, some capers and olives and a little quantite of anchoves. Upon 
these three exceed not the value of £20 Scots. 

' Item, a dusson of the botells with very good wattcr, iff they be deirer than 
brandy, use the least bottcll and quhen off the brandic . . . tak the biggest 

' I expect ye will cause follow and answer this my commission exactly and 
place it to my accompt, quho are still, Your real friend to my power, 

' Sill II. C. Cawdor.' 

Tills letter is endorsed : 

' Andrew Cunninghame, chamberlanc to the Laird of Calder, acknowledges 
receipt from William Uuffs, elder and j'ounger, merchants in Inverness, of 20 
barres of lead, 100 lbs. schot, 200 lbs. powder, 1 double anker sack, one quarter 
cask brandie, sixtie muskett barrellis, 20 fouling pieces, 2 hampers with C dozen 
botell glasses, 17 Dutch elii off Dornich ; 9th Dec. 1G77.' 

Another letter from the same to the same 

'AiiDERsKin, 16 April 1079. 
' Much Respected, — You will be pleased to get two terees ^ of your best wine 
aboard of Thomas Couper in Findhorn his boate, quho will cany it this length 
and give him lykways six or eight bolls of salt, but let your wine be vcrie good, 
otherwayes send it not. And if ye please to come out yourself, I long to see you, 
quhieh is all at present, from your verie loving friend to my power, 

' Sir II. C. Cai.uer.' * 

' Intend. ' Fine linen from Tournai. ^ Ter, a barrel, i.e. casks. 

• Letters communicated by Misa J. C. Dufl. 

A\ .ttO^\.Tv\h> 


' But many years before his deatli, William Duff had given over 
merchaiuliziiig and made large purchases oi' land in Moray, lie bought the 
Estate of Dipplc from Sir Robert Innes * in lG8t and ])aid £70,000,^ and he 
would often say that he " likt very well to see a mcrehant turn Laird, but 
he did not like so well to see a Laird turn a merchant " ' (Baird). 

To continue from Baird : 

' Dipple was a conscientious, honest man in all liis dealing, and indeed 
I never heard that any unfair thing was ever laid to his charge. He was 
the easiest creditor in the world, and it was said in Moray that he never tlid 
diligence but against one person who iiad attempted to imj)osc upon him ; 
and if he saw an intlustrious honest man, opprest with diflieulty and en- 
deavouring to extricate himself by his diligence, he was alwise willing to 
give him time to pay and even to advance him money. This acquired him 
a great deal of public love and had a very good effect among the Com- 
monalty while he merehandizcd, in so much that a man who had not paid 
his accomjit when it fell due, was disgraced, and lost all credit among his 
equals, and they used to tell one another in a bragging way, after their turn 
was over : " God be thanked, I have paid tlie Laird and William Duff," 
for so he was called before he got any land estate of his own. For being a 
second brother, he got only 10,000 mks. of Patrimonj' from his father, and 
by his mother's influence the wadset of Kcithmorc, for which his brother 
Braco paid him afterwards GOOO marks. 

' He was extremely fitted for business, and to this, one particular felicity 
of Constitution contributed greatly, viz., that the longer he sat at liis 
bottle, he became still more cautious and secure, so that if at the beginning 
of a Sederunt, we might get a tolerable bargain of him, after he was a little 
in liquor it was impossible to overreach him.' ^ 

Two other quotations from letters to him may be given. One from 
Lord Huntly, beginning : 

' HoNiiST DiPi'LE, — I am glad to give you ashuranccs, all the nois about yr 
being summons to this place will prove little or no consequence, therefore I 

' There is a memoraiiLliim, of date January i/), i686, winch shows tliat Innes was in pecnni- 
ary diiliciiUics even after the date of sale of Dipple : 

' Will. Dujf. To olfor to lend the other /^uoo provi<lcii that the Land ol (nucs near relations, 
and who knows the condition of his estate and fortune will bind cautioners for the w hole ^i 0,000 
and the payment of principal sum ' (Rose MSS.). 

= Scots. 

•' In this connection must also be added the story ol hisyoiuK down the great slair at tiordim 
Castle before it had got the ravcline (i.e. tlie balustrade), upon which he said to the Uuchess 
that it a good ' loreiioou ' stair. 


ashiirc you, you need l)c in no pain about it, when I sec you I sliall fjive you sonic 
accDunls of il, wliicli will l)c a;^ — Yniir nffcc. ^(loil friend loscrv, 

' IIUNTLY.' (O.) 

The other rroni Lord Findlater about some dispute : 

'CuLLKN IIi.lm:, Jifc. 22nJ, 1718. 

' Much Hon'Oured, — It shull be much against my inehnations if ther be any 
stop putt to your Signature on my account, for I am a sincere well \\'ishcr to you 
and j'our family and shal take all opportunitys of doing you wliat Service is in 
my power. I attribute it to the mistake of the late Biaccoes writters that ther 
is any clause in that Signature which gives mc just ground of complaint and had 
he Lived, he was to have gixeii me a Diclaraliun [orSa\ing of my right in ample 
forme, anil he and I were to have nietl, in a wvy fiw days about that matter, 
if it hade not been jirevented by wiiatt hai)peMicl. Your Sone and your doers 
at Edinburgh have niett with Juhii Phili]) who has sent me north a draught of 
a letter to be signed by you, which draught I send you by the bearer. All I 
desire is that it maj' be by way of obligation, otherwayes it cannot be effectual 
for my Security. I do not question but you will Signc it and in that case that 
you may meet with no delay, I have sent with William Lorimer a letter to John 
I'liilij), desiring that ther maj' be no further opposition made on my account, 
to till.' passing of your Signature. lie will deliver it to you, upon the signing 
of the obligation. 

' I heartily wish to hear of your being in perfect health ; and on all occasions 
you shall find me with the greatest sincerity. — ^fuch honoured, Your most 
faithfuU and most humble Servant, Fixdlateu.' (0.) 

William Duff of Dipple married, firstly, in IGSl, Jean Gordon of Edin- 
glassic, and through her obtained sasino in the lands of liirkenburn ; tlicy 
had nine children : 

1. IIf.lex, born 1082, afterwards Lady Roscommon. 

2. Catherine, born 1083, married Alexander Duff of Ilatton. 

3. iL\RY, born IGSl, died young. 

4. Isabel, born 1088, married Alexander ]\Iaekintos!i of Blcrvie. 

5. Alexander, born 1090, died young. 

C. Elizabeth, married Thomas Donaldson of Kinnairdy. 

7. Jean, born 1091, died young. 

8. William, born 1097, afterwards Lord Braco. 
0. LuDoviCK, born 1G98, died young. 

After tlie death of Jean Gordon, William Duff married again, in 1703, 
.lean Dunbar of Durn, sister of Anne, Countess of Findlater, and by her, who 
lived until 17.50, had one son and four daughters : 

10. Anne, born 1705, married William Baird of Auchmeddcn. 

11. Janet, born 1710, married Sir James Kinloch of Kiuloch. 

y< ,.\ iin:ir(t (>•^iTT'"f• \)-iO 


12. Mary, Jiorn 1714, niniricd Ccnoial J. Aijcroroinljy of (^lnssniip;li. 

l.'J. Ali'.Xandi'.k, born 1715, difd at llic :ii;c ol' six. 

14. IIenuiktta, (lictl uniiiairiccl. 

There are two letters from Dipple's first wife : 

' Invehnkss, 10 April. 
' My dear Sir, — I received your last the 2 of this instant. With the help 
of God I shall strive to give you no oecasion of offence. All Uiat you wrote of 
your affairs or myself I shall observe it well. Your Uncle nor Drununuir is not 
come home as yet so that I can give you no account of the quarrel but the fringe 
I had from London is too short and will not serve any purpose. I shall take 
nothing for myself but what you please but the head dresses for children, for I 
have sent Helen to School. Jlind Magdalen's ' gown and petticoat. Recom- 
mending you to llie Loid in all your affairs. — I am, your obedient wife, 

' Jean Goudonn.' 

' I\Iy Dkak, — 1 receved j'our letter which is great contentment to me to hear 
that ye ar weall, your daugiiter is beter now, as fur heaving a cacr of any thing 
1 shall doe the best way I can under God to giv you content. I intreat you heast 
you as son liom as your eonvenieney can pcrmitt I think much long for you not 
being abell to writt at length I shall forbear to trubcll you at present wishing 
the Lord to preserve you, I continue, Your lo\ing and obident wieff, 

' Jean Gordov. 

' ffor William Duff yre Merehnnd in Inverness for the present att Elginc, 
Thesse.' (D.) 

Baird, in enumerating Dipple's seven married daughters adds, ' I believe 
it is doubtful if there has been in our days a dozen of (Jentlcmen in Brittain 
that had seven daughters who were all so virtuous women and so good 

Dipplc was a cautious man, and kept himself free from taking sides in 
the eivil wars of his time, though undoid)tcdly his sympathies wci'c witli 
the Stewart cause. W^lien tlie Elgin troop went out to the rebellion of 
1715, ' which I have heard,' says Baird, ' was a very handsome and well 
equipped body of men, Dii)ple said, " William Duff would have gone with 
them, but Dipple would behold the event " ' (being unwilling to imperil his 
newly acquired estates). 

He, nevertheless, did not entirely escape, as seen by the following 
letter ' from the Earl of Sutherland to the Laird of Dipple ' : 

' It is probable this was another chiUl, whoso birth has not been recorded, who died 


' \Vli('roas for Ihc mantainanoc of Llic forces now under our Command for 
His Majesties services, a Loan was directed to be Icveyed out of tliis country in 
money and mcall and whereas by the parcelling out tlie payments into small 
moyetics, the levying the said loan has not proved any way cftectuall and seeing 
a speedy advance of money is absolutely necessary for the King's service, There- 
fore we, pursuant to the powers and Instructiones to us given, require you, Wm. 
Duff of Dipple, forthwith to pay unto Hector Monro of Navar our Comissary for 
that effect the sum of two hundred pound sterling, we hereby oblige our selves 
shall be repayed to you by the Treasury. Sutiieuland. 

' Given at Elgin the 7th of December 1715.' (Z).) 

And a week later, from Lord Lovat : 

'At FKOitnAS, ye 14 of Dec. 1715. 

' Dkati Sir, — I was surprised to rcccave here jjositiv orders from ye Earlc of 
Sutherland to secure you and cary you prisoner wt. me, since you did not pay 
ye two hunder pd. of a loan yt he desired of you in ye Kings name and for yc 
Kings service. So Dr. Sir I beg you may come imediatly to Inverness sine I 
am bail for you or take a speedy way to satisfy my Ld. Sutherland. Yt I may 
not get a reprimand for not seizing of you and yt another may do it who will not 
be so much yr ffrd as I am and will be on all occasions. — Dr. Sir, your most 
oblidged Servant, Lovat. 

' To the Much Honoured Mr. William Duff of Dipple, at Elgin.' (D.) 

In 1714 he bought the estate of Coxton from Sir George Innes at what 
was, by outsiders, considered a very high price, but hearing that the late 
owner was rejoicing uproariously at the amount he liad got, Dipple sagely 
observed, ' Poor fellow, he is as well pleased at parting with liis inheritance 
as I at getting it.' He also took over all the debts of the Laird of Coxton, 
who, being an indolent man and much given to his bottle, gave in and 
signed a list of these debts, which was £20,000 Scots short of the full amount. 
Dipple paid, at once, all the creditors in the list given to him, but after Sir 
George's death the other creditors appeared and sued Dipple in the Edin- 
burgh Court of Session, which awarded them their claims. Dipple carried 
the matter to the House of Lords, and they reversed the decree, finding him 
only liable for Sir George's signed list. 

' It was lucky for Dipple, as well as for his father and uncle and both 
his brothers, that all oi' them were possessed of ready money at a time when 
interest was high and land cheap, owing to a variety of causes, including 
the seven years scarcity and the political troubles. They were thus enabled 
to lay the foundations of the family prosperity as Lairds ' (Baird). 

' When a great barony was to be bought and no ready money forth- 
coming, the Duffs found the money for the purchase, taking a mortgage or 
wadset over the land, together with the security of the borrowers. In 


trulli, l)crorc l):mks were cstal)li.slie(l, or insiiraiiee eompanics drcnincd of, 
llie Duffs (lealL lar^'cly in money. 'J'liey were llie bankers of tlie Norlli, 
and (tarried on the lousiness much as we read of its being managed in 
l-'lorcnee and Genoa and other free eilics of Italy in the olden time ' 
(Shaw's Hiatoru of Moray). 

Dipple died in 1722 at the College in Elgin, and with his first wife, Jean 
Gordon, was buried in tlic Duke of Gordon's aisle in Elgin Cathedral, ' at 
the desire of the first Duke of Gordon (who died in 172S), on aeeount of the 
intimacy which existed between them.' 

On December 22, 1711, William Duff of Dipple and William of Braco, 
his nephew, were cautioners for Alexander, Marquis of Huntly, son of 
George, Duke of Gordon, ' as a singular mark and testimony of their friend- 
ship for the family.' 

There is a portrait of hun by Wessing, which was in the Duff House 
collection, and shows him as a good-looking young man. 

By his will he left to ' Jean Dunbar my spouse for all the dayes of her 
life, the lands of Quarrclwood and Dykesidc in the parish of SpjTiie with 
the Mills of Mosstowie and other farms, as liolden by me of our Sovereign 
Lord the King and that tlicre be given to her therefrom fuel, faill {i.e. clods) 
and divots, as by the law and practice of this kingdom, conform to the con- 
tract of marriage between her and me of JIarch 5, 1703. These lands were 
formerly granted by me in favour of my son Alexander.^ Should she 
remarry, this provision shall be null and void, and all the lands above 
mentioned sliall belong to my other heirs.' 

Slic survived till 1750, and did not marry again. 

He also left to his daughter Anne, 20,000 merks. 

To Janet, 15,000 merks. 

To Marj' and Henrietta, 12,000 merks each. 

'Jo Alexander of Ilatton, 1000 merks. 

To the eldest son of Alexander Macintosh of Blervie and his daughter 
Isalul Duff, 2000 merks; to their eldest daughter, 1000 merks. 

To William Donaldson, eldest son of Thomas Donaldson and Elizabeth 
Duff, 3000. And 1000 to Alexander Tulloch, son to Thomas Tulloch and 
Mary Duff. 

One thousand merks to Patrick Duff, writer, Premnay (his nephew). 
lie also ' mortified ' £1000 Scots to the poor of each of the following 
])arishes, Glass, Mortlaeh, Dipple and Longbride,- and the same sum to 
the minister of Elgin for the use of the poor in Pluscardcn, Quarrejnvood 
and Dykesidc in S])ynie. Will dated May 7, 1720. 

» Bom 1715, 'lied i7-;i. ■ Now Llnnbrydc. 


■,i_^.-m ijupx' or 

_5y 1Vr.'k<:rJu/ 



To III urn lo l)i|)|il('.s (l;iii;^'liliM's : 

'riic(l(l(sL(l:m;,'liUr. I Ii-.i.|-.N, iniirricd, in 17(»'2, llicllon. William Siillicr- 
lancl of lloscommon, third brother of Kcnnctli the Ihirtl Lord, aiul sou of 
James, second Lord Duffus.! lie also owned Mosstowic and Aldrouglity. 
William Sutherland was Member of Parliament from 1703 to 170G, and 
Provost of Elgin ; he was ' out' in the '15, his estates were forfeited, and 
he died abroad, although he returned to Scotland in 1729. (See the letter 
below.) He had previously borrowed £20,000 Scots from his father-in-law 
Dipple, who drew the rents of Roscommon for the years 1713 and 1714'. 

There is one letter from Helen to her brother : 

Helen Sutherland to the Laird of Braco 

' Dear Buotiier, — I amc well pleased to know of your being att Balvenie 
since your being Iher givs nice the satisfaction to bclicv that my sister youe and 
the children arc in health. Mr. Inncs is att last goot free of this place hce hase 
bein forced iu to sonic measure that he would not hav inclyned but that it was 
thought better to give a liungric dog a bone then leav a business of such import- 
ance unfinished : the stones shal bee sent the begining of the week. John Duff 
wil bee witli you att that tyme. Ime not sure but your humble servtt may giv 
youe the trouble of a sliort visit but Ime some frighted for Mr. Hunters seatt. 
I ever continue. Dear Brother, Your most affect, sister and humble Sertt., 

' Hellen Sutherland. 

'Elgin, IO//1 Mnrcli 172G. 

' To the Laird of Bracoe known to be att Balvenie.' 

And one from Lady Braco to Lady Roscommon : 

' Dear Sister, — The Twccdlin came safe here and is very good of the kinde 
for which I return you thanks. I hope now that the marketts are over j-ou '11 
be so kinde as let your freinds see you. Since you may casiely judge it is impos- 
sible for me to travel any where othcrways you would have a good title to a 
visit. Your Brother and Sophia gives you their humble service and I assure 
you I always desire to be vcrj' sincerely. Dear Sister, Yours, Jeax Duff. 

'Balvenie, Jully 26tli, 1732. 

' To the Ladie Roscommon at Elgin.' 

Duncan Forbes of CuUoden, Lord President, to the DiiJic of Netccastle 

Edinburgh. 31st Oct. 1729. 
' In the whole course of my enquiries I have heard of but one attainted person 
that came into Scotland since the first letter on this subject which I had the 

' Roscommon being part of Lord Duffus' Moraj-shire estate; the name has now dis- 



honour Lo rt'cci\c from j'our Gnicc, and lluiL is I\Ir. \\'illiani Sulluiland, hrollur 
Lo l.hc lalc Lord Diiffiis. lie Iimdcd soincLinu: in ScjjLcnihiT in llic iicigiiboui- 
Iiood of IJanfr in llic Rlomy lirLli. His ernuul, as my informer, who is a man 
of nndcrslanding, told mc, was to draw some money from liis wife, who Hves at 
home and is in good eircumstanccs, but he managed that design, it seems, so 
imprudently, that his wife and her friends declared war against him, and he finds 
it necessary to lurk as well to avoid them as the olliecrs of justice, which is the 
reason that my informer could not tell nie where he now is. That this account 
of Sutherland's expedition is true, I verily believe, partly' as I know the cir- 
cumstances of his family, which makes it probable, partly as I know the char- 
acter of the man, which is so low that the Pretender and his advisers, fools as 
they are, could scarce be so simple as to employ him, and partlj' because the 
Jacobites here whom I have sifted since my arrival know nothing of his coming 
to Scotland, though he is now more than a month in it.' • 

After Sutherland's death, Dipple allowed his daughter to live in the 
old castle of Quarrelwood, afterwards called Quarrcywood (long since dis- 
appeared), and made her an allowance, which was continued by William of 
Braco, licr brother. She died in 1747 or 174S, and had no issue. There 
is a portrait of her, by Knellcr, as a pretty child, with her mother, in the 
Duff House collection. 

The second daughter, Catherine, married Iier first cousin, Alexander 
Duff of Hatton, the eldest son of Patrick of Craigston, and lier history 
belongs to that of the Ilatton family. 

Alexander Duff, writing from Craigston to the Laird of Dipple, February 
13, 1710, about William of Braco's business, adds, 'Your daughter [Alex- 
ander s wife] and all the rest of your ffrcinds heir arc (blessed be God) 
well and have ther hairtie respects to you — your lady and ffamalie — and 
long to heir the like accompt ffrom you — expecting to see you att the Lady 
Marchioness of Iluntleys burial! which is the 22nd instant. — Your afl'ectionat 
son,^ to serve you.' 

The third daugliter was Isabel, married in 1706 to Alexander ]\IacIntosh 
of Blervic, and the mother of twenty-two children, whose names and dates 
of birth have all been preserved. 

Alexander (2nd), born 1723 
John (2nd), „ 172-1. 

Isabel, „ 1725 

Rachel, „ 172G 

George, „ 1727 

Charles, „ 1729 

Christina, „ 1730 

I\Iaiy, „ 173] 

• From the Scollish Paf-crs, Record Olficc. Son-in-law. 




Mary, born 




Elizabeth, „ 




Laehlan, ,, 




IVIagdalen, ,, 




Ludoviek, „ 




Janet, ,, 




Anne, „ 



We only liavc records of tlie nintli and twell'lli and sixtecntli cliildrcn.^ 
KlizabeLli, wlicii resiilinjf wiLli licr aunl, Lady lloseonimon, at Milton 
DulT, was courted by a young man named Antlcrson, who did not meet 
with the approval oi' her aunt, and whose visits were therefore forbidden. 
He, however, persuaded Elizabeth to elope with him one evening, when 
Lady Roscommon was engaged at her devotions. They had reached the 
river Lossie, through which he Avas in the act of carrying her, when Eliza- 
beth suddenly remembered that she owed half a crown to the laundress and 
must return to pay her debt. Young Anderson succeeded, however, in 
persuading her to defer this, and they safely reached Elgin and liis brother's 
house, where Elizabetli was locked into a cupboard for safety until a 
parson could be procured to marry them. After the ceremony, the j'ouUi- 
ful bridegroom had to return to Aberdeen to complete liis education, Avhilc 
Elizabeth, though offered a free home by her brother-in-law and liis wife, 
elected to earn licr living by working as a clerk in the former's oflice 
(Cramond's Milnes in Banff). 

Ludoviek is known to us by a letter he wrote to his uncle Lord Braco, 
in 1717, pathetically asking for five guineas to pay a bill for lodgings and 
medicines while ill in Shields : ^ 

' S111E1.S, 2.J//1 J)ece»>ber 1747. 

' My Lord, — I humbly beg you '1 excuse the Trouble, which only necessity 
should occasion. 

' riaveing wrote your Lordship some time ago, representing my being sick 
of an ague, without money, and at the mercy of Strangers, who wou'd affoord me 
llclicf, only for mercenary ends ; and had no Return, I 'm forc'd again to entreat 
the Favour of Leave to draw on your Lordship for five Guineas, without which, 
altliough my ])isteni]icr is less violent and may let me sail in ten days, I cant 
proceed to Sea being indebted Un- inedeeines and otherwise. 

' It were with utmost Concern I did any Thing might have the least Tendency 
to give your Lordship a bad Impression of me, whose Friendship (next Provi- 
dence) is my chief Depcndanec ; and hope you will not let me loose Time, now 
more than ever precious, by delaying an Answer. I am, as in Duty bound, witli 
all Honour and Esteem for you, your Lady and Family, IMy Lord, Your Lordships 
most aff: hum: Sertt., Louovick Mackintosh. 

' P.S. — Least my former Letter should have miscarried, I think proper 
to acquaint your Lordship that I wait your orders at Mr. Jolly's in North 
Shicls.' (0.) 

■ After her dcatli Alexander Macintosh married again and had ten more children. 

' lie seems to have been in the Navy, for the Master of Braco, writing to his father, says that 
' I^odie Macintosh is entitled to ;^Soo of prize money, wliich would bo very agreeable news to 
him if he knew of it.' 


John Maclntosli, another of Blcrvic's sons, applied to lyord Fife for 
help in apprenticing him to a Physieian or Apothecary. January 30, 1760. 

Alexander Macintosh, father of this large family, in 1724 sold his estate 
of Blervie to Lord Braco, who left it to his son Lewis. 

Dipple's fourth daughter, Elizabeth, married Thomas Donaldson of 
Kinnairdy. She and her husband rebuilt the old castle, and their names 
may still be seen carved above the door. A portrait of her, and her Family 
Bible, are still preserved at Kininvie Castle by the Leslie family. The 
Donaldsons claimed descent from the Macdonalds of Glencoe. Elizabeth 
had, at least, five children : Katherine, who married Lauchlan Mackintosh, 
whose mother was a Duff of Corsindae ; Alexander, referred to in the 
following delightful letter ; Elizabeth, ^ who married Nicolas Dunbar of 
Tillienaught ; and another daughter ; also William, the eldest. - 

Elizabeth Donaldson writes thus to her brother : 

' KiNNAIRDV, 1st A'^ov. 1743. 

' My Loud : Dear Brother, — As my son Sandic was speaking to me that 
your Lordship was pleased to say that you would give him a letter to Captin 
Cedes ^ I entreat your Lordship to dow it. I have spoken seariously to him 
that if he did not setell now better than formarly that non of his frinds would 
take any concern in him and I swore to him that I would never see his feas again 
if he did not take your advice, and I gave him my advice as I was capable. 
So he did give me his hand and his promiss that he would folow your Lordship 
advice upon your countinanceing him is all that I shall trublc with att present. — 
My Lord, Dear Brother, Your most affctt. Sister and most humble Servant, 

' Elizabeth Duff.' (0.) 

And again about her daughter : 

' Uanff, July 27, 1751. 
' IMy Lord, Dear Brother, — I shall be very glad that this find my Lady 
Braco and your Lordship and all the rest of your family in good health which 
will give me great pleasure to see the same from you. The reason I have troubled 
you with this is my daughter Mrs. Lowson told me the last niglit that she had 
some thoughts of marring Doeter Irvin I told hir that I should giv liir noe answer 
but think of it and will giv hir my opinion within this two days. Dear Brother 
I thought most proper to leat your Lordsliip know of this and would not give 
my consent till I had your opinion this she dows not know that I hav written 
to you, but I want your advice how I should dow as I know Jeams Hay has been 

' A son of this Elizabeth Dunbar afterwards applied to the second Lord Fife for financial 
assistance. Lord Fife notes ' An industrious poor man, with five cliildrcn.' 

' See page 90. 

' This Captain Geddes had also at one time been in charge of William, Master of Braco. 
Sec letter from Lord Braco, cluiplcr x. 


scckinf^ Iiir but in iny small opinion I think Doctor Irvin is ))cforc him for Jcams 
Iluy he is yoniij,' hut the IJocttr is douc( r I know not the Doctor scareiiinstiincc 
hut tliat he is coniinif in to good business, I will cxi)eet your answer. Mak my 
compliments to my Latly Braco, and I am with great regaird and cstim, My Lord, 
Dear Brother, Your most affcett. Sister and most humbcll servant, 

' Elizabeth Duff.' (D.) 

Thomas Donaldson appears to have been in constant financial diffi- 
culties, ■whicli preyed upon liis mind. His brother-in-law, William Duff 
(before he was Lord Braco), writes : ' I would be glad some way were fallen 
on to serve Kinnairdic, at least not to determine liimsclf.' Elizabeth died 
in 17C1. 

Anne, the eldest daughter of the second family, was married in 1721 
to William Baird of Aiichmcdden, the delightful autJior of tlie frequently 
quoted Mcriioirs of the Diijfs. lie 'went out' with tlie Jacobites in 1745, 
and consequently had to remain in liiding afterwards, first at his brother- 
in-law's house of Edit, and afterwards at St. Andrews. ^ 

But \Villiain Bainl seems to have been in difficulties before this date, as 
William Duff writes, before 1735, ' I have Auchmedden's son now on my 
hands and shall get part of his entry bond to pay,' and several other re- 
ferences occur to help asked and given ; thns, like almost all the brothers- 
in-law of William, Lord Braco, Baird of Auchmedden seems to have come 
to Braco for financial assistance. The following letters from Anne to her 
i^rother show that he did not come in vain : 

' Xov. 2'.)lh (no year). 

' My Loud, — I was honoured with your Lordship's two Letters, one from 
Rothiemay tlie other from Old Meldrum, and as I ever said, so I 'm rcsolv'd to 
doo as your Ldj). bids me, had Aueh: taken my advice, lie would have sold his 
estate some years agoc, wlicn he would have had a good deall more reversion, 
but that is what he must own he would never doo. I have for some years past 
expostulate with him in the strongest terms, against his answering his Eldest 
son's demands, to the ruine of both, but so far in vain, that I have found out 
within some days, tliat his son has in a manner bully'd him in to answer some new 
demands. Your Ldp. will own it is hard for me to have sj^ent my time, my 
fortune, and all in my power for the good of a family, and to see him and his son, 
goo on spite of my teeth to ruine us all, God knows that is the case. Tlie Enclos'd 
will tell your Ldp. a little more of this, if you will be so good as to take the trouble 
to read it, wich if you arc pleased to doo, I must humbly beg you will Let no otlicr 

• In a letter to Ludovick Grant of Grant, May 25, 1746, William Dii0, Lord Braco, says : 
' You 'I doe me a great favour if you '1 apply to the General for a protection for my poor 
sister Lady Auchmedden, and a protection to John Forbes for Carnousie's house, who was 
vcric friendly to me before he entered into this unhappie rebellion.' (O.) 


•r. . -,1 


see it, but burn it omcdiatcly. I only want 5^oiir JAp. to believe what is true 
that if Auch: had done his part as I bless God I have tlone mine, his son might 
have succeeded him, in the small fortune has been in the family for some genera- 
tions. Your Ldp.'s goodness and charity will Lead you to think my condition 
very trying, and I hope will plead for me the blessing of your continuance, and 
my Ladys to me and mine. I really wish your Ldp. or my Lady had time to 
caution him as to his Eldest son, no mother can Love a son more than I do him, 
but I ever thought his father has taken the way to ruinc both, it is with great 
fear and concern I have presum'd to trouble your Ldp. with writting so much. 
You may depend on it I will not attempt it again, but will ever be as I ought, — 
Your Ldp. most aft: sister and obcd: faithfull servant, Axne Duff, 

' Your Ldp. and my Lady are the only friends I have now my Dearest sister 
Jessie * is gone, if I or mine have any good ofTices from my mother it will be owing 
to your Ld]).' (0.) 

Anne Duff, Aiichmcddcn, to the Lord Braco 

' AuCIIMliDDEN, Sept. 15, 1750. 

' My Lord, — It is with very great reluctancy I trouble your Lordship with 
my letters for I must know your time is taken up many ways but as your Lop. 
promised to me that how soon Mr. Pat: Duff came to Rothemay you Avould cause 
him settle the Lcgaeys my Dearest sister Ilenic ^ left my children, so I hope 
your Lop. will not be offended at my putting you in mind of it, as it is now full 
time and Sr. Ja: Kinloeh seems inclend to have it finished if your Lop. please to 
order my part of the Interest to be payd me at Mart: next I would then have 
occasion for it but whatever you think lit in this and every other thing concerning 
me I am willing to submit. It is now time for Mr. Baird to know where he and 
family are to goe at Whit next, if you can give us the house of Eeht he seems 
much inclined for it, thu' I own I had much rather goe to a touu on uceompt 
of my daughters education it this is not thought proper I must be advised and 
will ever be gratefull when your Lop and my Lady are so good as take that 
trouble with me. 

' May God bless you and yom-s and preserve you long for a blessing to your 
family and friends. — I am, with the utmost respect. My Lord, Your Lordships 
most affectionate Sister and obliged obedient Servant, Anne Duff.' {D.) 

Anne Duff, Edit, to the Earl Fife 

'EcuT, Dec. 23, 17G0. 
' My Loud,— Your Lordships compliance with my reasonable demand, gives 
mc more relief than I can express ! I was seneible of the impropriety of sending 
an express to your Lop. on this affair but as I had, without efect wrot your Lop. 

' Janet, Lady Kinloeh. -' Henrietta, died unmarried ly^S. 


by post nf,'.iin and nf];aiii roprcsciititif,' in as stroiii,' l.crms as I w:is uIjIc Uic distress 
ot my (.'oiidil ion 1 resolved to take this last iiietliod in lio[)i! it would liuve tlie 
necessary influence. The old fellow I sent is famous for going errands, of a much 
longer journey than to Ed. but, I own, I neglected to acquaint your Lop. that he 
is a notorious knave in many respects, he was not robii by the way — this I made 
him confess and I thank your Lop. for paying the half of his hire. 

' I assure your Lop. I will live frugaly, while I live at all, but cannot live as a 
scoundrel and I shal be sure to let you see every article of the accompts you have 
Inabled me to pay with our own monej', then you will be convinc'd that no j)art 
has fain to my share, nor any one article contracted that it was possible for me 
to prevent but mournings for my mother. There is one llesollution I have 
taken which I must beg leave to tell your Lop., it is that I 'm dctermin'd to spend 
the remainder of my days in some toun where we can have a house and other 
convenieneys cheapest, the small farm here, the garden, etc. occasions us to have 
dublc the number of servants here that we wou'd need there, this with the 
aditional rent of window tax, provisions of every sort as dear here as at Abd. 
makes the place not cheap to us. 

' I beg leave to offer the Compliments of the Season to your Lordship the 
CounlcbS and to all your family. I have the honour to be with the utmost 
respeel, My Lord, Your Lordship's most obedient faithful humble servant, 

' Anne Baied.' {D.) 

WiUiam Baud of Aitchncddcn to Lord Fife 

' Balvenie, July SO, 1772. 

' My Lord, — I take this opportunity of giving your Lordship hearty thanks 
for our good Lodging these ^fc weeks past, which I am afraid will make us take 
the worse with our pigeon holes at Aberdeen. We have been likewise much 
obliged to the civilities of all the neighbourhood, in your interest, and most of 
them my wife's relations. She finds now by experience that the country air 
and travelling is rather of more use to her than the goat milk and we pro- 
posed to have gone as far as Inverness and returned by the Boat to Duff House, 
Ilatton, etc., but without regard to my own health which would not make 
travelling my choice, my wife is become so lean and her health and strength so 
much faild ^ that the easiest carriage now fatigues her and she is obliged to go 
home the nearest road and try what short airings will do. 

' We made only one trip last week to Elgin and saw Innes in our return 
where I observd with pleasure at every step the effects of your elegant taste, 
within doors and without. We happened to breakfast at the Sheriff Clerk when 
the new claims and new objections were given him and I am extremely glad to 
sec that in all probability you will stand your ground both in that country and 

* Slie died in the following year. 


' Mr. Duff, Schoolmaster here, is a most obliging, friendly lad and most 
sensible of your goodness. He is just now at a loss for want of some books of 
Divinity which his Professor has recommended. His fatiier's "• conduct has 
been very bhuneuljle and I hear he is conscious and ashamd of it himself but the 
story of his going with an ax to attack another man, was a malicious calumny 
for he was only carrying it home from one to whom he had lent it. I knew John's 
time of his cutter was out the 22 of last month but I wanted to know if he had 
any chance for promotion. I know he has made several applications by your 
advice. But its on your open friendship he principally depends. My wife and 
I join in our kindest compliments to our good friends and I am with the most 
sincere esteem and gratitude. My Lord, Your Lop. most obliged and most 
obedient humble Servant, Will: Baird.' (D.) 

Baird's brother-in-law, Alexander of Ilatton, writes to Lord Fife : 

' I believe Auchmedden does not want funds if he could apply y'" to the 
Business he was then engaged in — and I really think the man as honest as any 
merchant can be that wants money, and had it been convenient would have 
runn some risk with him myself ; so far I sympathise with an old Brother trades- 
man. I have heard nothing since I wrote but what Aehmcden mentions and I 
hope, wont. 

' Achmeden's conduct in his own affairs publiek an private has been most 
inconsistent and ungratcfull to your Lordship, but friends must ovcrloock and 
forgive.' (-D.) 

William and Anne Baird liad a family of six sons and four daughters,^ 
but all died without issue except the youngest daughter, who married 
Francis Fraser of Findrach, Lumphanan, and preserved the portrait of her 
father, by James Ferguson the astronomer. 

The death of the daughter Anne is chronicled in the Aberdeen Journal 
of November 4, 175G, and a long laudatory notice concludes with the words 
' she never \\dllingly committed a fault nor neglected a duty.' 

Anne Baird died in 1773, and her husband in 1775. 

Braco's second half-sister jANExmarried Sir James Kinloch, who appears 
to have been on very friendly terms with liis brotlier-in-law, as Braco 
writes from Nevay in 1745 about the letter from Ilatton with proposals 
for the hand of his eldest daughter. They had thirteen children : William, 
the eldest son, and five others, David, James, Joseph, Francis Peregrine, 

' Peter Duff of Mather Cluny. See chapter xxviii. 

^ William, the eldest, ' an advocate, died of a pestilent fever caught when listening to cases 
at the Old Bailey, and of the same fever died the then Lord Mayor of London and divers other 
gentlemen.' John, a sailor, was drowned; James and Alexander died in the East Indies, and 
Charles and George in the West Intlies, all without issue. A daughter Kathcrine died young. 
Helen and Henrietta married, but the latter alone left children. 

H. lUf.i i. 


and another ; and seven daugliters, Jean, wlio married Roljert MacLean ; 
Mary, married Jolin Kankinc; Henrietta, Anne, and three others died 

Tiie son James was first in the Navy, and afterwards traded in Cochin 
China with his mother's first cousin, Archibald Duff of Craigston. Another 
son, David, is only known to us from the record of his having ' fallen in the 
mescls ' occurring in a letter from his aunt. There are several letters from 
Janet and her husband. 

Sir James Kinloch was ' out ' in the ' '45,' being a colonel in Lord Ogilvy's 
regiment, and, like his brothers-in-law, had to claim the protection and 
assistance of Lord Braeo. His wife was taken prisoner after Culloden 
at the same time as her niece Janet, Lady Gordon. In the Stamford 
Mercury, ]\Iay 1, 174G, there is a London letter, of date April 20, announcing 
letters from Cumberland, from Inv^crncss, date April IS. Amongst other 
items of news, it says, ' Four of their (the rebels' ) Ladies are in Custody, viz. 
Lady Ogilvy, Lady Kinloch, Lady Gordon, and the Laird of Mae Intoshe's 

Among the Rose papers (Mr. E. G. Duff) there is ' an Inventory of the 
Writes produced for Duiiie Janet Duff for instructing her claim upon the 
estate of " the late " Sir James Kinloch, Nevay, attainted.' These are the 
' Contract of Marriage dated 3rd and 15th January 1730, and Instrument of 
Seasine following thereon in ffavours of the said Dame Janet Duff dated 
27th Jan. 1730, and registered in the Particular Register of Seasines of the 
Shyre of Fforfar upon the 3rd July thereafter.' Sir James only possessed 
the estates for one year, but was, of course, not dead in 1747 when these 
writs were produced, but being attainted, Avas described as ' late.' He 
was tried and condemned to death, and the estates forfeited, but he was 
afterwards pardoned and the estates and barony purchased by his friends 
and restored to him, with reversion to his son William. He was the third 
baronet of Kinloch, Fifeshire, and of Nevay, Forfarshire (his mother 
having been Elizabeth Nevay of that ilk). The present representative of 
the family is General Kinloch of Kilvic and Logic. TJie old creation of 
baronet ended with Sir James. There is a new creation in the same 
family of which the present Sir George is the third baronet. 

Janet Duff, ivife of Sir James Kinloch, to Lord Braco 

•En. J Juhj 7, 1740. 
' My Lohd, — I rccevcd by the express your most kind and oblidging latter 
with the bill and the rest of the letters. Your good and jcnerous bcahcvcr at 
this time to me and my helpless children, I hop God Almight Avill reward and 





bliss you and your fine yong famelay I am not abcl to put in words my thank- 
fulness. The sunie you have aloued me is more then I did cxpct I have sent 
two expresses to his oun frindcs writcn by himseir and can not bring the Icnth 
of your favers amongst them all, which gives me not a littcl unesncs and eon- 
firmcs my opinion of them. I beg your Lordship to honour me whin at London 
with your good and frindly adviss. Mr. Phargcwson has been most kind to mc 
and has don everything in his pour to asist me and by no mines would tuch my 
monny he said it was shur annf whin I was in a better way but the othr advocat 
did it. I am disiared with out loss of time to git tistifactes (sic) from all mincsters 
of Sir James mildc and diserct behaviour the time he had any coniand in the 
Rebelion. I dou not think if they dou him justes that they will lay harship 
to his charg during the time of his unhapy command in the Rebel's servess. 

' My Lord you will blive me to be with all due regard and estime your most 
aff. Sister and oblidgcd obedent humbel Servent, Jannet Duff,' (D.) 

Sir James Kinloch, Nevay, to Lord Braco 

' BARNSTArLE, 12 Jubj 1751. 

' My Lord, — The reading of this I 'm sensible must needs give your Lop. 
a great deal of grief and concern as I know the great regard you had for your 
Sister and the friendship you have on many occasions showcn to me and poor 
family. I had the honour frequently to inform Lady Braco of the indifferent 
sense of health my poor wife had been in for some time past for the recovering 
of which she was advised by Physitions at London to drink the waters of Bristol 
hot wells. With that Intention she set out from this place to a little seaport 
about ten miles distance in oi'der to take shipping to carry her to Bristol. But 
unfortunately just as she was upon the Quay going aboard she was suddenly 
most violently seised with a strong convulsion, on thursday last about eight at 
night. We had all the proper applications made and everything by the advice 
of a skillfull physition done that could be done but all in vain. She languished 
from that time till Sunday morning about seven when pleased God to deliver her 
from her pains and take her to himself. I had her buried as privately and decently 
on tuesday as possible and indeed all the Gentlemen in the Country showed the 
greatest politeness and regard that was possible to be showcn, meeting the Body 
on the road and unasked attending it to the place of Interrment. 

' I shall not trouble your Lop. longer upon this melancholy subject indeed to 
moveing for me to insist upon and shall only beg the continuance of your Lop.'s 
freindship and Countenance and that I may possess the same share in your 
esteem as formerly. I am now to begin the world anew which at my time of 
life is no easy matter and my great family craves for freindship and assistance of 
all their dear mothers freinds and well wishers. It shall be utmost endeavour 
to show my regard for the mother by the most tender care that is in the compass 
of my power over the children and my respect for your Lop. and others my dear 
wifes relations by the greatest gratitude for the many great and undeserved 

.'■ d' fj. rf)' /.' ir ,f . . TR » "f.. .'ft T':-r; hm n-r; -HM 


favours they have showcn mc. In a particular manner my best wishes shall 
always atUnd all your Lordship's concerns and lliat God AlrniKht may long 
continue your Lop. and my Lady a blessing to your line family is the earnest 
wish and prayer of, My Lord, Your Lordships most oblidged and most affe. 
faithfull Brother and servant, Jas. Kinloch Nevay.' (D.) 

Sir James Kinloch, Ncvay, to Alexander Duff of Ilatton 

'Barnstaple, 12 June 1752. 

' Dr. Sir, — I hope this shall find you. Lady Ilatton and ffamily in very good 
health of which none more heartily wishes the continuance tho' I have not heard 
anything from you this long while. I thought it my duty to acquaint you that 
I have received by the Ship Lord Anson Capt. Touls Commander in which my 
eldest son went over to China about two years and a half ago, a most kind and 
oblidging letter from your brother the Doctor,^ dated Canton in China 12 Novr. 
1751. He hearing by being evidently at Canton at the same time with Capt. 
Touls of mj' son's being aboard enquired after him and has perswaded James to 
remain witli him in that Country to try his fortune which he says if it please God 
to favour their industry he doubts not but it may turn out to his great advantage. 
Your Brother writs me that his success in that Country has been very various 
having lately mett with great losses at sea and having in August last his houses 
and all belonging to him burnt down by a most dreadfull fire which in two hours 
time consumed above four hundercd great houses on the other side. Happening 
to put into Cochin China about 3 years and an half ago he had the good fortune to 
cure tlie Emperor of a festula, after he had been treated for two years for it and 
was despaired of by his own Phisitions, two Chinese and one Roman Missionary, 
ffor which peac of good service he has severall great and extraordinary Privi- 
ledges in Trade granted to him so that by the means of these and assistance of 
ffriends he is better enabled than ever to carry on a trade to China which he says 
is a most Bencficiall one and is glad to have a relation to be partner with him 
and he offers his services and compliments to such of his ffriends and relations 
as I 'm acquainted with and desires they may be informed of his wellfare. Wee 
must hope the best and leave the event to God Almighty. 

' I offer my sincere Best wishes to my Sister and all your ffamily within and 
without doors, and I ever am with sincere regards, Ur. Sir, Your oljlidged humble 
Servant and affect, brother," Jas. Kinloch Nhvay.' (Z>.) 

Mary, the seventh surviving daughter of Dipple, born 1714, died 178G, 
married James Abcrcromby of Glassaugli, afterwards General.^ 

James Abercromby's sister married James Duff of Craigston. His 
mother was tlie granddauglitcr of the sister of Adam Duff of Clunybeg, 

' Archibald Du0. Sec chapter xix. ' Brother-in-law. 

' In the Royal Regiment of Foot, now ist Royal Scots, and Deputy Governor of Stirling 
Castle in 1775. 

-IT' -,n rn jT '^rv 


and sister-in-law of James Duff of Crombic, and his fatlier's aunt married 
Adam Duff of Driimmuir. Tiie fortunes of Duffs and Af)crcrombys have 
always been inextricably mixed. 

Sir Alexander Aberoromby Jolin Abercromby of Glassaugh, 

of Birkeiibog, m. tbirdly, in. Catherine Gordon 

Elizabeth Baird of Auchmcdden. of Losmoir. 

Sir James, m. JIary Gordon Ann, m. Adam Duff Alexander. 

of Aberdeen. of Drummuir. I 

I I 

Sir Robert. Alexander, m. Helen Meldrum 

of Crombie. Sec clMp. xxvii. 

General James, m. Mary Duff. 

General James Abercromby seems to have been the favourite brother- 
in-law of Braco, and great friendship existed between them. Allusions to 
' Glassa' ' are frequent in William's letters, and he appears to have valued 
Abereromby's advice on many matters, including the management of his 
unsatisfactory eldest son. Abercromby also succeeded him in his seat in 
Parliament, and represented Banffshire for many years. But, like all the 
others, except Hatton, he came to his brother-in-law for financial help. 

James and Mary Abercromby had three sons and two daughters : 

Captain William, who married his cousin ]\Iary Abercromby of Birken- 
bog, went bankrupt 1799. 

Colonel James, married Charlotte Gordon. 

The Rev. Thomas St. Clair Abercromby (bishop) and King's Painter for 

Jean, married, in 1767, George Morison of Haddo, second son of Morison 
of Bognie, and, secondly, in 1781, Admiral Robert Duff of Logic. 

Keith Margaret, died unmarried. 

The sons all died without issue, and Glassaugh eventually passed to the 
descendants of Jean, her daughter by her first husband marrying her step- 
son by her second, and thus further complicating the relationship of the 
families of Duffs and Abercrombys. The further fortunes of the family 
of Glassaugh are to be found under the heading of Fctteresso, chapter xx. 

There is one letter from General Abercromby among the Rose papers : 

'London, Uth March UiT/S. 

' My Lord,- — We arc preparing to set out for Holland in pursuance of orders 
issued yesterday, I ho23C to set out in eight or ten days at farthest, tho' I am not 



iti u very fjoorl condilidii lo iiiiclci'iro imicli f.-ili^iic hcsiilcs oilier iiieoiiveniences 
1 cuiiiioL driiw on a hooL uiul my siiif^'eoii lells iiie il, will be llie middle o[ Snininer 
before I iiiii finite sound. This hurt with the Conse(jutnees attending it has 
impaired my luuinccs so niueh that I sliall leave Mrs. Abcrcronibie very Httlc to 
support her and her family I hope their for it will be no inconvcniency to your 
Lordship to pay two years rent at Whitsunday next either unto Mr. Philip or 
remit it to Mrs. Abereromby as is most convenient to your Lop. her discharge 
is good by the factory I granted some time agoe and before I leave this I shall 
send a State of the account. We have a great fall of snow and very cold frosty 
wheather if this lasts it will mend the jDrices of corn. 

' Sr. Robert and Mrs. Abercrombie joyn with mc in our humble Duty to your 
Lop. and my Lady and Jane and I am, my Lord, your Lordships most obcdt. and 
obliged humble servant, J.\mes Abercromby.' {R.) ' 

Dipple's tenth daughter, Henrietta, is thus described byBaird: 'She 
died at Edinburgh, Aug. 8, 17-18, unmarried, having declined several good 
matches. She was one of tlic most accomplished young women of her 
time, being endowed witli cveiy virtue that can adorn the sex, and the 
numberless olliccs of Charity, Generosity and Friendship which she be- 
stowed to a surprising extent, for her fortune will long be remembered by 
many.* She seems to have been a godsend to all her young nephews and 
nieces (she had over fifty !), and the house in Edinburgh in which she lived 
with her mother, old Lady Dijiple (who survived her until 1750), was a 
happy home for them all. Her fortune she left to her nephew James 
Kinloch, who seems to have been unlucky. The following delightful letter 
from her fitly closes the account of William of Dipple's family : 

Henrietta Duff to Lady Braco, her sister-in-law 

'EniN-nunoii, \%th Jullie 174G. 
' My dear Madam, — I had the pleasure of your Laps, by my sisters express 
and forwarded Sir James Grant's letter next day. It would be very ungratefull 
in me to neglect anie thing that you reeomended to me. I onlic wish it were 
in my poor to show the scnec I have of ray Lds. goodness and yours to my 
unhappie sister - at thiss time not to mention your former feavours to my self. 
Your Ldp. will fmde put up in the box Lady G.'s ^ robe I could not get a rose 
couler Damask under the price I write you of but as thiss is a full pink I hope it 
will plcassc it is a verie good silk and I could get it nothing down of eleven and 
si.xpence ye yeard, in the band box is the mob handkerchief and ruflles. I hope 
your Ldp. will like the lace and think it reasonable. I am sure I did all in my 

• In Old Quebec, by Parker and Bryan, General James Abercromby is described as ' a vain 
and obtuse military martinet.' He was present at Ticonderoga in 1758. 
' Lady Kinloch. ' Lady Gordon. 


poor to get u good pciiicworlli of it, but iiftcr scurcliing at tlic .slioppes in town 
1 cjiiinot liiuk,' 11 bit oT your swutcli ^ which I urn much vexed ill, Hicy s.iy l.lic 
couhir is not Taysioii and they have not had ciiic for some years. I Jiavc seaut 
your Ldp. two swatches but they wearc so different from the other that I could 
not venture to take the silk. I am afraid I cannot dcpeand on the distant 
prospect you give of your being in town nixt winter ; I have been so often dis- 
pointcd in tliiss that I dare scercc flutter myself it will happen ; all I shall say 
is that your being in town will be the oidic attachment I will have to it for tho' 
I am in never so gay a houmer which God knows I am the wcarie of at present 
I have now got so " large a fammelie " as will confine me prittie much at home 
for we have persuaded my sister to leave Davie here, who she proposed to carric 
up to London with her which to be sure would have been most wronge and a 
trouble. Mrs. A. would not been fond to have him ! we likeways expect Jeanie 
Baird in a month or two. Your Ldp. will wish me joy of " my sons and 
daughters" when I have the hapjjiness to see you nixt. My sister K.- gets out 
thiss week in a coach with Lady Murray and some other comp: she could get 
none before now which detained her here so long and I wish to God her going 
may be of anie use but as he desired it no bodie could take it upon them to 
dissuad her from it. lie write me also to come up, but I thought ye monic I 
behooved to spcand on the journie would doe him more service in another way, 
so I have given over al thoughts of it and remitcd ye sum to Lon: she has left 
her two Eldest with Lady Drum: 11: till she returns I wish she would take your 
Ldp.'s advice as to Jamie which would surelie have much more wight with her 
than mine, I shall end thiss longc scrall with my aff: humble complements to my 
Lord in which my mother joins to your Ldp: and him, I beg you will be so good 
as write me soon and believe me to be, Dear madam, with great Esteem and aff: 
Your Ldp.'s much obliged faithfull servt: IIenkietta Duff.' (0.) 

A further account of William Duff of Dipplc, taken verbatim from the 
Rose MS., may be appended : 

' William Duff of Dipplc, second son of Alex. Duff of Keithmore, born in 1653, 
died 1st May 1722. He got 4000 mcrks of portion. Learned as apprentice to 
A\'m. Duff Provost of Inverness, his uncle in 1071 for 7 year. Began business in 
the 1078. Acquired a fortune ICSG, to buy Dipple, with his industry from Hol- 
land, France and Spain, dealing in wine, hemj), iron, gin and brandy, Tallow 
and butter. He was a very honest, and likewise a very industrious man. He 
told his nephew Alex. Tulloch of Tannaehy to be of caution. Gave him 1000 
merks to go to Holland and purchase goods, saying, " If you are as luckie, civil 
and honest as I was, you can triple it." Mr. Tulloch went accordingly, but was 
unluckie and dissipated his time agt. Dipple's advice, who never had confidence 
of him as a merchant and had no intercourse with him in business, tho' kind to 
him otherwise. 

' Lady Kinloch. 


' Wluii l)ii)i)lc (lied, lie li:ul of liuul .'JO.OOO inks, ycuily iind tSO.OOO Sf'ols (.[ 
money t)f his own uccjiiiriiig. Jlc wiis iioL above; liis Imsiiicss in iill its dcnoniinii- 
lions. His accoiniDls sliow it in various insUmecs, wilh tlic Luird of Inncs, 
Laird ot Grant, Ld. UuiTus, Granf^chill, IMuirtown, Coxtown, Laird of Grant, 
Duke of Gordon, Findlatcr, etc. He always pretended tliat he knew nothing 
Ijut phiin simplicity. lie attended at Old Miln all night and day wliyle his 
nielder of Corn was in tlie mihi, slept on a rack and sliared a pint of ale witli liis 
own and other Tenants. ]Ic dealed also in salmon, mealc and grain and greatly 
in malt. In short his progress and success were miraculous. ]'"or five years 
preceding his death, he drank a pint of claret, or two bottles every day.' 

'Discharge Wm. Duff to Alexr. Duff, ICITS.' 'I, Wm. Duff merchant in 
Inverness (afterwards of Dij)ple) second son to Alex. Duff of Letaeh Grant 
me to have received from Alex. Duff of Letaeh my father 5000 incrks Set. in 
part payment of my jDortion natural bairns {lairtt of gear,' elc. ' Subscribed 
at Keithmorc, 30 Mar. 107S.' 

' And the said AVm. Duff Grant me to have received from said Alex. Duff of 
Lettach now of Kcithmor full jjaymcnt of all jiortion natural bairns pairt of 
gear. Subserd. at Keilhinore, 27 Nov: 1087.' 

' Accompt of money due to Wm. Duff of Dipplc for his share of the African 
Comiiany " The Company of Scotland trading to Africa and the Indies." — 1707.' 

' Mr. Dunbar of Tlumderton, Provost of Elgin, fell under the displeasure of 
tlie Earl of Sutherland, the King's Lieutenant in the North. lie was seized by 
the Earl's orders and incarcerated in Elgin Jail, but was eventually liberated on 
a bail bond. Sir Haric Junes and William Duff of Dipplc were cautioners.' 

James Duff to the Laird of Dipple 

' IIoNRD. Sir, — Conform to your desire I went and saw the wrack of your 
IJarquc and took Peter Baird alongs and we called for John Ross who had offered 
for it bcfor, we arc feared of fire here and they arc dayly taking from it and will 
do : he offers now only fifty merks without the boat-mast, rudder and iron work, 
I spoke to Durn about it ; who said he wondred he would give so much. You 
will do well cither to send anc express or commission to sell it, for the longer it 
lyes it will be the less worth. I give my best wishes to your self Lady and family 
and continue, Ilonrd. Sir, Your oblieged cousinc humble servant, 

' James Duff. ^ 

'Portsoy, July 7, 1715. 

' ffor the much Ilonrd. The Laird of Dipic;.' (D.) 

• It has not boon found possHiblo to identify tlio writer of tliis letter. Ho wns probably a 
Bon or grandson of one of Koithinovo's brollicrs. PosKibly tho same James Dnff who writes 
from Findliorn to Dijiplo wlion at Kottordam, and signs ' yonr affoctionalo cousin.' 

■ J 



'I'lircc riirllui- Icllcrs Lo Williiini Dul'f ol' Dipplc miiy Ik; iidilcd - l.wo 
from Ills sisltr IMiiry, ami oiu,' rioiii liis .sisUr-iii-law : 

' Janaciiih, Aug. l.'i, 171'!. 

' BiiOTJiEit, — I rcccved a lyne from you with one from my housband under 
Jolm Robartson his cover of deat July 11th and spook to him to pack the fish 
when others packed, which no doubt lie will not faill to dow, as for bills there is 
non I can promis on : the tenantts bills for rents I was not free to nieadcll with 
and grantt discharg to them, not knowing what might hapin and the bear I 
wrott of, a good part of it givin to credtors for jiaymcnts of presing onual rents 
which these resells will show. There is on hand in the straw and threshen, I 
bclivc, fortie Bolls yit undisposed on which is the most of what will be had of the 
last crop. My husband wrott by his last the Bond and disposishon he gave my 
daughter Lisie was not good, and there was a chuis in my contrack for macking 
up that disapoynttment which if he was spared he would mack effeetuall. I am 
persuaded you and he both was not egnoranttc tho we had not fallne in his 
misfortons that my childring was not seequrcd as they might be and the Lasie 
not to have right to a farding is hard indid, but who can shun misfortons. I 
thought yce had takiiie advyss as to what conscrns my young ons and Ictt me 
been csie what ever should be in the mater, but I believe the thrang of your own 
affairs puts such trillls as my all out of your mynd, I did expect yee would had 
that regcrd to me and your o\\ii condock to have bean att sume pcans to prcventt 
my own and childrings misrie if posabill for I most say I did not first or last move 
in conscrning this bargan without your advyss soo ye may think if I be mead 
misrabell and trublsumc to anie frind, it most be you and that is what yee will 
not allow, soo look to it. My husband wrot me he was to dispose his movabells 
to sume credatour. I wish he may eonsidere howc his famallie is to be subsisted, 
and wher the monie will be had to defray his and his sons charg. I shall give 
you no furdarc fash at prcsentt, but I cxpeck your adwyss in the worst of cneuff 
how to behave, and I am your affeconatt sister, Mary Duff. 

' My husband wrott for his first and second Contracks of marriage which I 
have sent by this bcrar.' (D.) 

Mary Duff, to her brother 

'Tanaciue, August 20lh, 171G. 
' Brother, — Have yours of deat the 9 instantt with the bond I spoek Johna- 
than Alnass to back the sesing who hath three othcre to tack on the Land of 
Tanachie and promised to done what I proposed witli the samme breth and told 
me it would be allamorouss if it ware imdeistood here and that I should prosede 
befor other credators would lock lyck conivancc this mead me dellay tho perhapss 
it be not for the chyld's intrcst ye will advyss me if ther be hasard in this as I 
hope yc will tack kear of whatt consernss me I wrot you the 13 at lenth I am 
dauly diseovring nior of my sercomstanecss which is not esie tho the govern- 

"•♦?>'»• H ")f|t Jf;'»b k^ fT'IlfO'f "f ) 


mcntt never liad ii fardins' «f "s soo I am in pcaii till I liir from yo)i as I beag ye 
spair not expcnce 1 am told llie greatest loss will be niyne. If I loss him self and I 
and mync be mead bcgers it is no small misfortoun. The fish shall be packed 
and keried as ye propose, the teiiantes will execpe of none of my disehergs nor 
grant bills, there will be non but Tanachie there is Discliargess sent to be syned 
by my husband as yec may adwyss John Robertson see them dissured and reeevc 
there bills if ye adwyss I shall deliver them with his oversight. I wrott of the 
bear in my last if it is not threshen " of the grow^th of the means " it may be dis- 
posed of tho' not delivered till there be youss for the strawe there. An I hold 
bee fore upwards of 40 Eolls in the tenants hands and about the toun as if yec 
apriehcnd dengare lest it be disposed of and delivered when threshed I expect 
ye will give mecunsell as to the mo\abills and domishalls [doniieiles] if ye apric- 
hend dengare aboutt them and abow all when yee wnderstand the Govermentt's 
disyns as to my husband there is gcnrall ehargs of horning with iniebishons. I 
shall not fash you furdur at prescntt, for I expeek to her from you how shoun 
yee can, for I am Your affexonatt sister, Mary Duff.' (D.) 

Mariiaret Gordon (ividuio of Alexander of Braco) to tlic Laird of Dipple 

' IIoN'oiiED AND DEAR BiioxiiER, — I rcccavcd a letter from the Duke of 
Gordon desiring the money due to him at Martimasse from my husband and 
offering to give Tillibodie such obligations therfor as he shall think necessary 
for him to give, this I could not neglect to show you and to get your advise and 
eoneurance therein for now since it hath pleased the Lord to remove your 
brother ther is none that I will confide in so much as you and expect that you will 
order and advise in my sons affairs as ye wold doe for your selfe and what lyes 
in my power I shall God willing show to the world and to you that I shall never 
forget so worthee a husband. I think it necessar ye writt to Tillibodie and 
acquaint him with what the Duke writs and ye know that the Duke performing 
his j)art lie will still make your brothers aires lyable to performe ther part and 
it is much better to doe it in lyin now when he hath use for the monie then be 
forst to it and dissoblidge him, never the lesse therfor with all convcnieney writ 
to Tillibodie and desire him to give you a free and full anseer and that ye wold 
not wish your nephew to live otherways with the ]")uke then his father hath done 
and that he may ])ut the Duke to it to jierforme his j)art and that therujion 
show that ye and he and I are willing to performe your brothers part for I am 
affraid that some way or other things may be negleekted and goe wrong ye may 
remember what ye did see in the Duke's letter to your Ijrother if ye wold be 
pleased to writ to the Duke it wold clear al doubts how soon as ye cane put this 
affair to a close do it for I should not wish any thing your brother did put his 
face to for to goc wrong. I wroat to you concerning the selling of the vittuall, 
let me have your answer therin, so wishing to hear of your weallfaire, I am, Your 
affeetionat sister and humble servant, Margaret Gonnox. 

(Afltr 1705.) 

'For the I-aird of l)ipi)el] this.' {D.) 

70 r 


■Liyjl iii 111 iJJ-^Jii, pr I ,^ U^yll,^ 

=6 =3.„, 

, . , -tt>v 

;il' i 



' William, tlie first Lord Fife, Dipplc's only son who survived him, was 
born in Autumn 1G97. He got a very complcat education, and was a 
better seholar tlian most gentlemen commonly arc, Avho have not been bred 
to any of the learned Professions. For he was master of the Latin, French 
and Italian languages, with some tincture of the Mathematics, and was very 
well acquainted with ancient and modern iiistory. 

' lie was a memlicr of the British Parliament for the County of Banff 
from 1727 to 17.*3'1 and alwise joined the country j)arty. He was one of 
tlie Bedford hand C'lub, kept by Sir WiiHam Wyndham, Sir John Rushout, 
?»Ir. Shi])pan, etc., about thirty in all, worthy gentlemen and true patriots. 

' I am informed that he spoke a few words in some particular occasions 
in tiic House of Commons — once in 1730 wlien a debate came on whether 
to continue the Hessian troops in British ])ay ; lie stood up in his i)lace and 
said, tJiaL tlie alTecLion of the people was tlie best security of the Govern- 
ment, and if tluiy ])osscst that, there would be no occasion for hiring 
mercenary Forces from any foreign country in time of ])eace ; and besides 


it was rcasniialile to f^nvc our own Fisli-<ints to our owu Sca-muws (i.e. 
Culls). The I'lnj^lish nicmbcis did not undtrstaTul this plirasp, hut when 
explained to them, said it was a most signilicant and judieious expression. 

' He was created Lord Braeo by King George the 2nd in 173o, and 
Viseount IMacduff and Earl Fife in 1759 — (Irish lionours). 

' He was a man of extraordinary good sense, -whieh, improved by his 
stock of acquired knowledge, seven years sitting in the British Parliament, 
and an intimate acquaintance with the best company in Britain, made him 
a polite well-bred man, and an agreeable, entertaining, and instructive 

' In his private character he was a most indulgent Parent and husband ; 
and the kindest and easiest master to his Tenants and servants. 

' He had inflexible ]jrinci;)les of Iionour and justice from winch nothing 
could make him depart but misinformation or prejudice, which last, if 
once he had contracted it against any person, it was not easy to remove, 
especially if he thought he had met with any Disingcnuity, or been in the 
least imposed upon. However, this went no further than to make him less 
sanguine in doing that person any good offices afterwards ; for I never could 
observe anything of vindictiveness in his nature, and upon a proper 
acknowledgment, he was most ready to forgive a fault. 

' He had an anxious concern for the welfare of all relations and friends, 
and he was a friend to merit wherever he found it. 

' He was naturally very ingenuous and had no reserve when he believed 
his confidence would not be abused ; he did many generous, humane 
things, gave a good deal in Charity to the poor and in a very private way, 
and tho' I don't pretend to say his liberality was very extensive, yet it was 
equal to that of any of his great neigliboiu's. For I have known him several 
times give 50 and 100 guineas not only to relations, but to others, merely 
on account of their merit. In Aprile 174G, when the Duke of Cumberland 
was at Banff before the battle of Culloden, he gave £250 of drink-money to 
the common soldiers of his army, merely that he might with more freedom 
ask protection for the Houses, Cattle, Horses and other effects of any of 
his friends and relations who had the misfortune of being engaged. And 
indeed, at that time both he and his Lady exerted their utmost efforts to 
save all that they could from being phmdercd or otherwise harrassed.' 

' Everybody has their foibles and perhaps he discovered too great an 
ambition of ruling the elections and other political disputes in those 
counties where his Estates principally lay. And I believe this disgusted 
a great many who had no connexion with or dependance upon his family 

* There are many allusions to this in their letters. 

iVT"^ 'T 


iiiul looked upon tliciiisclvcs as Iiis ccjuals in every respect but that of 
fortune, and llial lliis was the mainspring of that opposition which he some 
times encountered, and of that implacable envy and detractions which on 
some occasions attempted to run him down ; and besides those who had 
served him in politics might some times think he had not made them such 
returns as they expected 1 After all, it must be acknowledged that, con- 
sidering his large projierty and numerous connections in the County of 
Banff, he was extremely well entitled to the greatest political interest in 
it, and that in IMoraj', where his estate paid a third part of the Land Tax of 
the whole shire, it was unreasonable in any other great Family to propose 
to make a Cypher of him.' 

In 1735, he purchased the superiority of the estates of IMar, for 
£10,000 sterling, and in 1737 the estate of Glenbueket from John Gordon 
the famous Jacobite. 

He expended vast sums of money in building. He built the new house 
of Balvenie in 1724-1725, and resided there for a timc.^ In 1730, he began 
to build Duff House, but, owing to a disj^utc with Adam the architect, 
which engaged him for many years, he never occupied the house, and 
when obliged to drive past it on his way to Banff, always drew down the 
blinds of his coach. 

' He also spent much in Lawsuits and in political disputes, for when he 
once took a cause in hand he spared no cost to carry it through. Yet, being 
an excellent economist, he made many valuable additions to the Family 
estate, and most of them at very good prices. Upon the whole I am per- 
suaded that he will be always allowed by those who knew him well to have 
been an honest, valuable, and worthy man.' 

(Tliis is the account given of William, Lord Braco, by his brother-in- 
law, William Baird, the first historian of tiie Duffs, who had himself 
doubtless benefited by the patronage of this successful member of the 

The following is an early letter from William Duff, afterwards Lord 
Braco (who in his young days was also in the family business), to Robert 
Grant of Tamorc : 

' Sir, — I have given the Bearer 12 pounds good English hopps, old weight, 
which I hope will please. Have likeways given him a bottle wine the best I 
have gott. I shall be glad if it please the Collonell, in case he be for it I can give 
half a hogshead at 4 pounds ten shillings and sliall wait your answer for five 
or six days. 

' It is now part of (lie distillery, having been last used as a private house on the occasion 
of the ball niveii by M.icdull (the late JJuUe) in 187^. 

:rir'[ .MrA?r 

/ly Sir i;,;//r, ,/ Knf.'/, , 


' I offci' mj' iliilifiill ri'spccls Lo Bulliiidalloeh iiiid Mrs. GiaiiL and am, Sir, 
\\)ur ()blidj,'i(l IiuiiiMc siTvaiil, W'm. Duii'. 

' Uankk, 28 Sept. 1727. 

' Please do me the favour to forward the enclosed letter to my friend Craige- 
naeh ' (see chapter xxx.).^ 

William Duff married, in 1719, Lady Janet Ogilvic, daugliter of the 
Earl of Findlater and Seaficld, late Chancellor of Scotland, and widow of 
Hugh Forbes of Craigicvar, but she died without issue on Christmas Day 
1720, in tlic twcnty-lifth year of her age. 

He married, secondly, in 1723, Jean Grant, eldest daughter of Sir James 
Grant of Grant, M.P., and for some years resided at Braco and Balvcnie, 
and several of their fourteen children ^ were born at each place. That the 
family of Lord Braco lived at one time in the mansion-house of Balvcnie 
is proved by many letters to and from that place and by an inventory of 
furniture there, dated 17G1', and another list of articles broken during the 
family's stay. 

During his frequent absences from home he w^as a most industrious 
and affectionate correspondent, and hundreds of his letters to his wife 
are still preserved (in the possession of Mrs. Chancellor alone there are 
more than eighty), mostly addressed to ' i\Iy dearest life and best of 
Daties,^ and signed ' yours for ever, yours while B. your loveing houseband,' 
etc. Some are mere scraps : ' This letter will be short, but I cannot miss 
writing with this post,' and others concerned only witli business. 

His business affairs kept him a great deal in Edinburgh, and his parlia- 
mentary duties, for the fu'st seven years of his married life, took him to 
London, hi 1733, while still William Duff, he writes to his wife, dating 
from ' Chorlton, within a myle of Greenwich,' ' Your father, Sir James 
Grant and other two friends arc here with me spending a pairt of the 
holidays.' In the same year : ' I missed letters from the north last post, 
which they say is occasioned by the waters being out beyond York. (It was 
indeed a fearful distance in those days for a man to have between himself 
and his wife and babies !) Direct to me at my house in Conduit St. since 
I have got a good house there opposite your father's. You see I have been 

' MS. British Museum. 

' William, 1724-1753; Anne, 1725-1805; Janet, 1727-1758; James, 1729-1809 ; Alexander, 
1731-1S11 ; Jane, 1732-177G ; Gcorpc, 1736-1818; Ludovic, 1737-1811 ; Patrick, 173S-1738; 
Helen, 1739-1778 ; Sophia, 1740-1826; Catherine, 1741-1765; Arthur, 1743-1805; Margaret, 

' Dat5', darling. 


led iiilo a line (laiioc by liciii^' in I'arliuiiicnl,, liowcvcr willi (lie assislaiifo 
(if (U){\ I 'II tloc llie hcsL I (.'nil.' 

in 1710, AvIicn he hail Ihc two girls with him in Edinburgh, lie writes : 
' I have engaged an Italian master who undertakes to linish your ilaughters 
in the spinet in less than 5 months.' On another oecasion he writes from 
Dundee that he has ' been obliged to send baek the footman with the 
horse, as it could not make out the journey,' and onee he had to leave 
behind some friend who was travelling with him, and a servant to 
take care of him, the iiardships of the journey had been so great. 
During this period he also writes to his wife about his proposed pui'chases 
of Rothiemay (1741), on which his cousin William of Braco had already lent 
money,^ and Echt. 

Quite early during his stay in London he seems to liavc made himself 
felt in legal and political circles. He writes : ' I find the Dutchess (of 
Gordon) has writ Sir Robert AValpole, ratcing mc in a high manner, and 
desyring a gift of the feu-duties of the Estate of Dumfermling. However, 
I hope I have closed that door upon them.' And at the same period : 
' God give us a happy meeting for long doe I tliink to see you. I know not 
how it is with you, but I assure you I find it very cold to be here without a 

In 1733, William, the eldest boy (there were already six cliildren, and 
the mother was only twenty-eight) broke his arm, and the father writes 
many anxious letters : ' I am exceeding glade that your boy is out of 
hazard. I beg you will take the best care of yourself and be heartie and 
cheerful wh: is the greatest favour you can do mc' At this time, Jane was 
the baby, and he writes hoping that the next child will be a son. There 
followed three in succession. After 173t he no longer went to London, 
but his absences in Edinburgli were longer and more frequent, as he got 
involved in many lawsuits. He had disputes with Lord Eindlater as to 
fishing ; also with the town of lianff and with Lord Banff, and the Duke of 
Gordon and various other members of the family of Gordon. ' I hope care 
will be taken that James Duff (of Corsindac who acted as his factor) and 

' On February g, 1716, Alexander Abercromby and William Gordon wrote from Banff 
to the Lord Advocate, ' asking the pardon of Archibald Ogilvie, son to Sir Patrick of the 
Boyn, he having been concerned in the late unnatural rebellion. The prosecuting of him 
will bring little or nothing to the Goxernment, the purchase he made of Kothiemay in the 
county being by money borrowed from Duff of Braco, as will appear by the registered 
disposition in anno 1712, of the lands, with ane assignation of the rents and profits in Braco 's 
favour' {Scottish History Papers, Record Office). 

In the previous century the House of Rothiemay had been a stronghold of ' the rebels,' as 
James Baird in 1635 petitioned lor repayment of his expenses in ' taking the House of Rothie- 
may out of the hands of the rebels ' {History of ihc Bairds. — Ed. W. Fraser). 

,(T-nIi . 


Adam I'aiiLon keep pnssossion of T.oi'd IJanfl'.s (isliings, since now tliat 
Uothicniay is in tiic nortli, all nicasuirs will be taken to brangle nic out 
of thcni.' 

' IJiiAco, Monday forenoon, ITOU. 

' My deauest dr. dii. dearest Datie, — I have sent you this express to 
tell you that Mounlblciie and I have been here sinee Saturday and are in good 
health but the weather has been soe bade that we were stormstead here yesterday 
and are like to be soc this day soe I liope you '1 not be uneasie for we '1 be with 
you God willing how soon the weather breaks up and it will be best to keep 
Delmoor and the other Gentlemen. 

' We were heartily fatigued last week for from Moonday to Satrday we were 
10 hours Closs amongs old papers everie day, and it was Thursday bcfor I found 
all the papers I wanted as to the Duke, but the diseovring them must be keept 
a Seeret for some time for reasons that I '11 tell you at meeting. I have likewise 
got papers that will be of great use to me with respect to Arthur fforbcs, soe that 
the time for the Seareh was weal Imploy'd. 

' Noe doubt j'ou have heard that Johnstons ship and all his cargoe was lost 
and your Shangai and some other things from London was on board. Thomas 
Duff, with my great timber was load Thursday last and if he came out of Aber- 
deen on Satrday his ship and cargoe will have the same fate, for there never 
was more stormie weather than since I left Balvcnie. We had closs rain 
and wind on Saturday all the way from Banff till we come here. I have 
been in great concern about you and your health ever sinee I left you and there 
is nothing can give me greater satysfaetion than to find you in perfect health 
ehearfull and casie upon which the greatest part of my happiness depends, may 
God's blessing and myne always attend you. Pray make my Complements 
to Mrs. Grant and your eompanie'I am with the utmost affection whyle I breathe. 
My Dearest Dr. Dr. Dr. and best of Daties, yours for ever. E. 

' I desired James Duff ' to tell you that we could not get thro' our papers 
soe soon as we Intended and sure I am you would wish us to doe something 
before we left them. Adieu my Dr. Dr. Dr. life.' (0.) 

'AnERDEKN, 20.'/i August 173G. 

' My dearest dr. dr. Datie, — I have at last agreed with Echt and our 
papers will be ready for signing this night and as to the bargain I can only tell 
you just now in Gcncrall that it will not be near soe dear as I did apprehend. I 
hope to get from this the morrow in the day soe as to be at Aboyu Sundays 
night, but I don't expect great success from that expedition only I 'm resolved 
not to let my wood goe so far under the value as people would be at. 

' I was sorrie to huar the Dissaster that happened to poor Thomas Duff - and 
the loss of his Ship. I hope all is weal with you since I left Banff and I doubt 
not of yoiu' keeping sight of my work that it goe forward in all the particulars. 

• Corsindao. * Craigston's son. 


1 (Miiiiol, yd. lix on a jH'ccisc; diiy for hciii^' at liomc, Ixil. you iii.iy \>v sine il. will 
Ik: !is soon as 1 can. Kclil. liiis some IhoMf^Iils of Icavinf,' lliaL place t;vcii before 
a Icriii which will oblidgc inc in Ihat case to return that way, sue as care may be 
taken of everie thing till I get anc other tcnnent ffor his ffriends will not let him 
keeij it and this will perhaps occasion my staying a day or 2 longer. It will 
give me the greatest pleasure that Datie has got the better of her fall and I beg 
you '1 take the best care of yourself till I have the happeness of seeing you. I 
am always with the greatest sincicrity and affection, My Dearest Dr. Dr. Datie 
and Life, yours till death, BiiAco. (0.) 

' I have been in perfect good health since I came from Banff and rather the 
better of my journie.' 

' JIy dearest best and boxie Datie, — Your last brought me a bill of leave 
for altring your blew ring which shal be obey'd and I hope your best ring wont 
Set you the worse that it has Attic's hair and yours within it, till I can get a 
better one for you. The inelos'd is from Jlr. Sellers anent your Son. I find that 
notwithstand all the strong letters that I 'vc wrote to your son and all the trouble 
and great expenses that I 've been put to on liis ace*, yet he has not mended one 
bit, soc that now I quite dispair of any reformation. However I have yet told 
Mr. Sellers that I '11 take a little tryal and if matters are not better I must quite 
alter my plan for I think it 's a hard case when I have soe much to doe and soe 
many other children to take care of to be tliroughing soc much money upon 
one abanden'd wreach that will never mend or give any satysfaction but will 
rather be a disgrace to his parents and friends. I have with the assistance of the 
Almighty eonquer'd myself soe as to make this mysfortune as casie as possible 
and I lioi^e and wish you may doe the same. The dissapointmcnt, God knows, 
is great to me for at this time of day considring the perplexed affairs of one kind 
or other that I have on hand, I have great need of help and if he had turn'd out 
as I wish'd considring his age, in a some little time he would have releiv'd me of 
a good deal of my burden beside the advantage that my famile and children 
would have. But we ought chearfully to Submite to what {providence has 
allotcd for us. 

' AVe are now setting about our arbitration. Since what's above I have 
called the Goold Smith about your blew ring But there is a bit of the stone 
cracked which would lly out if it was strcaclied and it it was set again the Place 
behoved to be taken down after loscing that bit soe that tis best to let it be as 
it is rather than spoyle the Stone. Farcweal my bonie Datie. — Yours whyle, 

' Braco.' (0.) 

The three topics wliicli occur most frequently in tlicse letters arc his long 
disputes with Adam over the accounts lor the building of Duff House, a 
suit with Keith of Bruxic (which ' came to a head ' in 1739),^ and another 

• There is a MS. accountof this case, covering a roll of forty feet long. It was a dispute about 
the lordship and estate of Balvenie which Alexander Duff of Braco had obtained in 1687 from 
Arthur Forbes, who owed him a large sum of money. In 1732 Miss Mally Sctou claimed a right 

WULlAtl iJ'JPy. J-Oi--C' .-.Mi".!.''. 

/ly liVr-j. 



connected with some lcin<l ol" wall lie wislicd to build on Sjioyside, Frequently 
alluded to as ' the Bulwark,' also the wadset ol' ' Meyan ' (sic). At times 
lie seems to have felt ilepressed at the amount of time he spent on these 
matters. ' Coll: Abereromby proposes to set out to-morrow, your brother 
goes to Hopetown, everybodie gets their feet loose excejDt me, who have 
been so inborrowed with my own blunder of having to do with Adam. My 
father could have prevented all this trouble and hazard to me if he had 
taken the adviee of any person of skill. However, he did many good 
things, and I ought not to complain of this oversight. I don't blame 
myself for anything that has happened, except that I was so imluckie as to 
put trust in a fellow that has tiu'ncd out as great a rogue as ever was on 
earth. Who indeed had siipj^orters as void of conscience as himself.' 
From Edinburgh also he writes : ' The want of yon makes mc much painc, 
my dear Datic, my absence soe long from you is not the least of my trouble, 
and the more soe that I have been the sole cause of it. But I am like all 
Scotsmen (i.e. litigious). However, I hope after all this, Cod will grant us 
happier days together, and it may happen that the trouble and expenses 
that I meet with may make them that come after me the more easy. May 
God bless you and the poor little bairns.' 

And again : ' God bless my Datie and send us a more settled and 
peaceful living, for peojile's wicked designs has hitherto given me a most 
troublesome life and has ]3ut me to great expenses.' 

About another suit which he had pending he writes : ' The lawyers 
have a good opinion of my cause relating to IMoyness. The only loss that 
I 'm at is that it depends altogether on writing, and there are few of the 
judges there that understand writing.' On looking at some of the legal 
]\ISS. of a previous century, on which presumably the ease depended, one 
can perhaps understand the diflieulty. This letter appears to have been 
written about 17-10. Braco does not always remember to add the year. 

Re an election then jiending : ' I have made only two new barons — to 
wit Muriefold and John Duff in Elgin, neither doe I jjropose that cither of 
them should be enrolled or vote except in the event that Rothiemay or 
the family of Gordon make new barons, and in that case all the world 
will approve of what I have done.' 

Of his eldest son he never has anything pleasant to say ; doubtless he 
was a trial. ' I have this day paid a bill of £100 for bringing William out 

to Arthur Forbes' estate by a disposition from him, and before this case between lier and Lord 
Fife, Draco's nephew and heir, could be determined, Arthur's ncpliew and heir granted a bond 
of the whole estate to Wilham Keith of Bruxie, who in consequence brought an action of reduc- 
tion and improbation against Lord Fife, and the jiroccss lasted twenly-two sessions before tlie 
Court of Session, but at last was scltled amicably lu 17.(1. 


of Caiituin Gcddcs' ship and sending him abroad witli Iiis tutor. I wisli to 
Cod tiiat our honest intentions nuiy have the desired eflcet in recovering 
him, for you see wliat fatigue I have at liome and abroad in keeping 
matters riglit, and in bringing myself out of one serape bequeathed by 
my predecessor and anotlier occasioned by myself.' 

After Lady Fife and family had removed to Rothicmay, and the family 
grew larger and his means greater, he seems to have been called upon to 
execute numerous commissions for her. lie goes to Lcith to choose 
carpets in 1739. He buys silk, tea, dates and other confections, and in one 
letter laments the length of time they will be on the way ' even though the 
French do not get the Kinghorn boat ! ' In 1742, he remarks that the 
Kinghorn boat, which presumably made a slow voyage from thence to 
Lcith, is too rough for ' his old age,' and he prefers to make the longer 
journey round by land. He was then forty-five. ' Farewell my bonnic 
Datie, you and your old and young companions have my dayly 
})rayers.' And in 1741, ' I intend God willing to goe north by way of 
Aberdeen for the Cairn Road [i.e. over the mountams by Braemar] is 
vastly fatiguing.' 

From Aberdeen, December 31, 1732 : ' I thank God for it, I came safe 
here by night. The weather was favourable and I hope to get to Montrose 
the morrow. Mr. Donaldson (his brother-in-law) took me up on the road, 
but was obliged to ly at the old Town this night to be free of arrest. Send 
along with bearer a bit of the silk to show the exact wideness you would 
have it of, and at the same time I beg you will send a bit of your hair that 
I may have it set in a ring. I was dreaming about you three times last 
night. However, I hope all is well.' (This last is a curious and unusual 
touch of sentiment and superstition.) 

In 1741, he mentions that he has not sent the rapee snuff, as he finds it 
would not keep, and in another letter he says, ' a little glass with hartshorn 
drops goes with this.' As the sons and daughters grew a little older, he 
was also commissioned to buy clothes for them. ' I will cause send 
cloaks with capuchin hoods for your daughters,' he writes to his wife, 
' they are worn by all the fashionable folk. Stays for the lasses. Laces for 
your daughters, and a pretty mob for my Datie. I propose to have your 
mantle made of red velvet. Small cloath is too much upon the common.' 
' It were best that you send the measure for coats for James and Sandy, 
since I would have them made here as well as the vests. I think improper 
to get swords for the lads, but if they please mama and Mr. Abel and mind 
their book I will bring them each a pair of buckles to their shoes.' And 
again : ' I am glade of the news that you give me of your children and their 
progress with their book. It is very agreeable to me. I have bought the 


frocks and cloatlis and breeches for your boys. Tliere was only three hats 
commissioned for, but if Lewis [aiicd six] kec])S his liead even, I '11 send a 
pretty little hat with a silver laee.' 

He also interested himself greatly in the affairs of his household, and 
sends to his wife a bale of stuff ' that will make proper frocks for your 
servants, that will weare some time, viz., for the porter, the boy who attends 
the tea table and the coachman.' In 1743, he took upon himself to engage 
a cook. He says, ' I have two cooks in my offer ; one of them came from 
the Earl of Kintore last term, and the other from the Earl of Glasgow ; 
they are both well recommended.' lie doubts if she would like one of 
them, as ' he lias a wife and three bairns.' In the next letter he says : ' I 
have engaged the cook Thompson. I am persuaded he '11 please you, for 
he imderstands his business and is well recommended. If you want 
any kitchen furniture it will be best they be bought while the cook's 

There are frequent references to contemporary events : 

' I have sent you that pairt of Col. Abcrcrombie's letter which gives 
information of the French fleet being seen upon the British coasts, which 
is the best account that is come here of it.' With true Scottish economy 
he adds : ' I thought it needless to swell the postage with the rest of the 
letter.' ' There is uncertain accounts of the battle in Germany, but the 
French is beat off the field with great loss, and several circumstances 
told to the honour of the British troops ' (Dettingen, June 27, 17-13). 
' A bloodie battle has happened in the Mediterranean ' (off Toulon, 
1744). ' The Earl of Aberdeen died and was found stiff.' ' We had 
the account yesterday of Edinburgh being taken ' (by Prince Charles ; 
September 1745). ' I have three sisters and two of their husbands 
now in Edinburgh. Long, long doe I think to be with Datie, which, 
God willing, shall be soon.' ' It is here talked of that there is a peace, 
but it must be such an unglorious one that the King or his ministers 
have not yet ventured to make it public, and I 'm afraid that the 
parliament will not bring us out of our difficulties. Poor Admiral 
Haddock killed himself because his hands were tyed up from attacking 
the Spanish fleet going to Italic ' (174G). 

The letters after 1743 are filled with allusions to his youngest son 
Arthur, ' my bonnie Attie,' who would appear to have been, from his birth, 
the favourite of both parents. When the child could not have been more 
than a few months old, he adds as a postscript to his letter : ' I have sent 
with Duncan a cheeping bird for Attie. 

' I am having my Datie's hair and my little lad's set in a diamond 
ring. — I\Iay every good thing attend you and Attie and all the rest of the 


young folks. — Were I at liomc, we would place Atlie hcLwixL us and sport 
with liini by turns. — I send some toys which you may distribute as you 
please, for you '11 soon found out what 's for Attic. Take care of yourself, 
Attie, Clossie (Sophia), and the rest. 

' Pray take the best care of yourself, for I don't fear your caring for 
Attie. Long, long do I think to be north with my Datie and her Attie, 
which I hope and wish for, since I will be all the days of my life my dearest 
and best Datie, Your with the utmost affection, Braco.' 

And in 1715 he writes : ' I cnvie Arthur for he has mama to himself, 
and mama has Artluu', and Papa has neither.' 

' I am glad you have weaned my little boy, and that he is none the 
worse.' In a previous letter he had hoped she would not do this until he 
came home, ' unless the child should suffer.' All his thought was for this 
youngest son, born when he was forty-six, and only twenty at the father's 

In one very short letter he writes, ' I have this moment the opportunity 
to tell you that I am in perfect health. I only want you and Attie. May 
all good attend my dearest Datie and my Arthur.' 

'I congratulate you, my dr. Datie, upon my bonnie little lad's getting 
out three chaft teeth, by which I hope the hazard of teething is over 
with him.' 

He begins to yearn much to be at home again : ' If I were free of Calder 
and Adam, I would be quite easy, for I 'm not much afraid of what Drum- 
muir can do. If I get a good luck of Mr. Adam as well as of Bruxie 
I daresay you '11 be pleased.' ' If I were free of that villain Adam, I should 
have little to doe here.' ' Tho' I have missed being at an end with Adam 
through the Justice Clerk's default, yet I must do something in other 
matters and stay here a short time, which is most undesirable, and dis- 
agreeable to me.' 

' There never was a judge did show more partiality than the Justice 
Clerk, nor a party more barefaced villainy than Adam.' ' We have now 
Adam, Drummuir and Calder on hand.' 

He sends her many directions as to the management of affairs at 
home : ' Mind David Stronach to take care not to take in mixed meal.' 
' I think it will be best you cause block up any fireplace about the barn- 
yards except in the henwife's house.' ' The rooms in the summer house 
cannot be better employed than in holding my oats.' 

In November 1743 he sent her an account of all sums to be paid out 
in Banffshire; and other directions for farm work and buying and selling 
operations are frequent. 

In 1749 he took the waters at Bridge of Earn. ' I have drunk the 

I. vJi.M -VI. . • 


\v;iU!is Lwo (lays since 1 goL Lliu (iocLor's (lii-cctions. I propose lo make 
use of Llie ' Jlot Ijalli ' the day al'ler to-iiioi row, and liope to be llic better 
of botli.' 

lie is most anxious that slic sliouKl keep up licr dipfnity in Itis absence, 
and writes urging lier never to drive out without four riding servants. ' I 
think indeed when you make tlic visits you mention that you slioukl have 
four ricHng servants with you, for it looks very bad to have a coacii and 
four and only one servant or two, and I am sure your neighbour Abachie will 
not scruple to go with you.' 

' KinMiiiioii, ].v/ Mnri-li {circa) 174.5. 

' My deauest boxie and best Datie, — I have the satyslaclian of yoiu- last, 
covring the Ilistorie of the McDufrs and am exceeding glad tliat you and your 
young people were soe weal <li\'ertcd on the occasion of the old Datic's birthday. 
1 think you have done vcrie right in diverting yourself in making the visits you 
propose, ihit am afraid that the weather has not been favourable to my Datie. 
We have been attending Wardhouse's tryal! who with the other two panclls will 
not only be acquite but I believe Blackball will be soused in damages and 

' I slial mind the Conunission in your last with respect to the confections 
wanting. I have sent for your diversion some copies of Wardhouse's Information 
which will Intertain you and which you may disperse among 3'our ffricnds. Ther 
are toys sent for Attic and the other young children with the boxes that arc sent 
to Aberdeen which you may distribute when you please for you '1 soon find out 
whats design'd for Attic. — Fareweal my bonie and best Datie ffor I am for ever 
Yours most faithfully, 13.' (0.) 

After he became Lord Fife, in 1759, he was seldom away from home, 
and there arc comparatively few letters of his after that date. He died in 
17U3 at llothiemay House, and was buried at Grange, his body, and those 
of his wife and his granddaughter Frances (sec next chapter), being sub- 
sequently removed to the mausoleum at Duff House. 

Two years before his death he acquired the mansion in Edinburgh 
known as Fife House. A contemporary account says ' Lord Fife had a 
good house, outside the city wall.' 

' Fife House. — This mansion stood on ground now occupied by the 
north-east portion of Lothian Street, near the north end of Potter Row. 
It seems to have been entered from a road which skirted the outside of 
the town wall. In Edgar's plan of 1742, published in Maitland's History 
of Edinburgh, it is designated " Duke of Douglas's." That nobleman 
died in 1761, and, according to Chambers's Traditions oj' Edinbnrgli, the 
house was then acquired by the Earl of Fife. In the map of the city in 
Arnot's History of Edinburgh it appears as " Fife House." ' 


Some of Lady Hraco's letters lo Iicr liiishaiul siiow u eortaiii resentment 
ut liis Ion;; ahsenees, aiul one wliieli Jias not l)een pieserved was sent back 
by liim that she might revise tlie undeserved expressions. But very 
little ever occurs to mar the perfect understanding and tender feeling that 
existed between them. ' Never man liad a better wife.' 

She writes to her husband from Banff, December 17, 1739 : 

' JIy dii. lu-e and best of Daties, — May God bless you for the 
two last kind letters you write me, they urc the greatest and best present you 
can make me and what I hope I never shall be ungratefull for ; our town is turned 
exceeding gay. I have gote a german here that plays finely upon a sorte of 
instrument : I was fryday last at his concert ; and am to be there this night 
again, he has gote the town house for entertaining his company in. We have 
allways a ball after the musick is over, and you '11 be surprised to hear that I am 
so well and eliver at present as to be able to dance miimets and covuitry dances ; 
but I will take care not to venture over far. The youngc Andrew i be one of the 
best natured boj's I e\'er had and this I hope you '11 not fail to tell ]\Iontblearic 
off as I aiu perfectly persuaded he takes this strain of goodness from him. The 
Knight of Durn " is in jierfect rapture with our german nuisiek he stayed in town 
these ten days attending it : and likcwaycs brought his lady here friday last, 
but sometimes we ha\e enough adoe to drive the spleen from him upon account 
of his lossing his wager with me. I am very well pleased that both my daughters 
have the musick master once a week ; I notice what you write as to the term 
matters and will not faile to keep Duncan in mind of it ; and he and I shall take 
an opportunity to speak to Charles Burt as you recommend. I was obliged to 
Robie Moor for sending me Plays, what I had was just done when his supply 
came. I beg you '11 take care for it and tell him and Corviehen that I will write 
them both very soon ; but I am in a hurry to-day to get dressed for the Ball ; 
Rothiemay and Lord Maitland came not to town the Lady Betty wrote Doctor 
Fother ^ of their dyct, great bodyc moves slowcly. My kind compliments to 
Corviehen and all that 's best to you ; for God's sake take care of yourself and doe 
not drinke too much, intertaining the Lords or other friends for your health is 
precious to me above all thingcs being my happiness depends upon it for I am 
unalterably in my affection, but not in my faults, my dearest Dr. dr. Dearest life, 
yours while breathing. J. B.' 

'Dec. T.7th, 1739. 

' My dearest life and only Datie, — This letter was gone to the post 

house when your express arrived so I called it Ijaek that it might goe the length 

of Abdn. with him. Duncan is busic looking out for your papers and I am just 

going to the Concert : I heartily wish if it had been possible for you that you 

' Andrew Hay. ' Sir James Dunbar. 

' Dr. Folheringliam, a well-known physician in Ban0. 



had given Mclross what he wanted. They are so obligeing in every thinge and 
if it had not been for them I bdieve your plummcrs had been idle for want of 
Scots coal before Mr. Abernethie's shipc arrived ; I was quite overjoyed when I 
saw the express from Abd. believing to have heard by him of Bruxies defeat, 
but I hope that will come afterwards, you shall hear from me again by the 
Wedensdays post, and in the mean time I beg that you '11 believe that I am with 
all possible esteem while I breath my dearest Dr. Dr. Datie, Yours faithfully, 

'J. B.'i 
And six years later from Rothiemay : 

'January SOth, 1745. 

' My dearest dr. dr. Datie, — I had the pleasure of yours from Edin', 
and it is a vast sattisfaetion to me to know that you gote safe there, and in good 
health. Mr. Sellers letter is what I rcgrete, but is no surprise to me, indeed I 
joine him in oppinion that it is a pittie to throw away so much money, since there 
appears to be but small hopes of reclaiming my son from his folly in that ways 
and I dare say you '11 now thinke of putting him upon a quit different plan, as 
I am persucdcd a governor can be of no further service to him and is only an 
additional expence to you, Mr. Abcll tells me that your sones here arc doeing 
wonderfully well, which is one great comfort to ballance a Cross, as too their 
Lessons their Master must be left judge, but as too their behaviour otherways 
I can with truth affirme it, that it must please everybody, they and all the rest 
of Dada's Daties are in perfect health, only longs for my Dearest Datie, and 
Arthur is no less mindefull of you than of us. Sanders Stronach tells me that the 
Cook would not allow the frock to be made, that I order'd for him, since he said 
he would not wear it, for that you had promised him one at a guinie and £10 ster. 
of wages besides other perquisites, I thought it best to mention this to you, in 
case you had judged it proper to speek to Monblearie on any other at Edin' that 
might have been present when he was ingaged ; so as we may have no disputes 
about the matter, indied I imagined that he had only been upon the same 
footing with Andrew riiillip, however as the Cook has never yet said any thinge 
of this to me, so I am to take no notice of what passed between Sanders and him 
till you return home ; God preserve j'ou and give you success in your affaires ; 
and believe me to be wilh outmost affection and esteem. My Dearest Dr. life, 
Yours very faithfully, while J. B.' (0.) 

A year before her death she writes thus to her second son : 

'11b IIousedali., June 20th, 1787. 

' My de.\r Fife, — Much do I rcgrete the troublesom journey you are obliged 

to take, considering the short time since you came to the country, and that it 

deprives your friends from the pleasure to see you — last week I imagcincd that 

I never would have had the satisfaction for indeed I was very ill of an intermit- 

' Rotliicm^y papers. 

' Jo 


ting fever and nigh unto Dcjitli, but by the gieut cjire of my son luid IMrs. Duff 
I liuve got better but not so well as to be able to leave lloiisedall. When will this 
horrid niallieious assoeiution end. Your opponents had nothing but to oceasion 
trouble and expence whieh appears to be their motive, it is a true proverb and 
holds so in the present ease — that one cannot live in peace beside litigious neigh- 
boias. God preserve you at all times and give you success to defcatc their 
wieked schemes and give you a speedy and safe return to the Country. — I remain, 
as I ever was, my Dear son, Your very affectionate mother, J. Fife.' (0.) 

Two early letters from Iicr father are of historical interest : 

James Grant to his daughter. Lady Braco, at Rothiemay, written 
from the Speaker's Chamber 

' London, 24 Aprile 174G. 
' Dii. Jeanie, — The Express came this morning from his Royall Highness the 
Duke makes me hope that this letter will come safe to you. I heartily con- 
gratulate you on the good account of the entyr defeat of the llebells, I hope this 
will finde my Lord Eraco you and the young ffamily well. If once all were 
quite settled I have some thoughts of being in the North if it were but for twenty 
dayes time. The Plundering and barbarity committed by the Rebells must noe 
doubt make the country look generally very miserable and I am much affraycd 
that the destruction of the corn and grain will ])roduee bad effects. I saw Mrs. 
Abereromby to-daj^ she with Sir llobert and Lady Abcrerombie are well. I 
can offer noe other news from this, compliments in the kindest manner to Lord 
Brace and ffamily, and I am. Dr. Jeanic, your very affect, ffalher, 

' Ja. Grant. 

' This is written in the Speaker's chamber ; -where his Majesty affords us noe 
better paper (tho' great plenty of it) than this.' (0.) 

The same to the same 

'London, 7 June 1740. 
' Dr. Jeany, — I have yours of the 20th of I\Lay, and as you say that it is a 
longe time since you ore Lord Braco had any letter from me, it seem that letters 
docs miscarry for it is not longe since I wrote to you both, and had noe answere 
from my Lord to it, but as you are all well, I doe the more easily excuse it. I 
doe most sincerely lament the miserable situation of some of our country men 
and particularly some of them we are more nearly concerned with, but as they 
have brought ruine upon tliemselvcs by there own doeings, all we can doe, is 
to l)e most heartily sorry for, and eommiserat there condition. It is a sadd view 
I he oulter ruine of llieniseh is and innocent Posterity. I much commend what 


ymi li.ivc done as to your dauglitcr Jcsssy (Jessie). ^ God liclp and comfort her. 
I am told tlie Lords I'lisoiiers in tlio Tower will l)e trycd in Weslniiiistcr Hall, 
and all think tlii'y can't escape suri'ci'iny as I donhL not severall taken Prisoners 
will in other parts. God be thanked tliat now tliat cursed design ol the lltbellion 
seems to be at ane end, I hope the like shall never be attempted for the future, 
I am sorry to sec that Carnousy and Abbachy- had concern in it. Gen^^ St. 
Clare I hear is not yet sailed on the expedition. Pray where is Sophie, some say 
she is with you, but as you make no mention of her, and that she dont write me, 
I know httle about her, I hope the Rebels have not made seizour of her. I 
offer my kiiulc compliments to Lord Braco and your j^oung ffamily and contiucw, 
Dr. Jeanie, your wry afft'ct. ffalher, Ja: Guant.' (0.) 

She was a most affectionate wife and mother, and a kind and in- 
dulgent grandmother. When she liad her house full of grandchildren in 
1775, she writes humorouslj^ : ' I am so plagued and hurried that I can 
scarce turn me ! ' In January 1773, ten years after her husband's death, 
she gave a ball for them. ' The Countess Dowager of Fife held at her 
house in Edinbiu'gh the first masked ball seen in Scotland.' 

In the Scots iMagazirie we read : ' On Jan. 16, 17S8, died at Rotliiemay the 
Countess Dowager of Fife, aged eighty-three. She retained all her senses and 
her usual cheerfulness to the last. Having married young, she saw and lived 
with her descendants to the fifth generation.' This ]5resumably refers to 
the family of Jean Gordon, who manned Urquliart of liurdsyeard, and died 
in 1767, twenty-one years before her grandmother, and whose o\vn daughti !■ 
was very likely a mother before 1788. She also left one son, Robert 

Jane Grant, born 1705; her daughter Janet, born 1727; and her 
daughter Jean, 174G. Three generations in forty-one years. There were 
possibly three more in the remaining forty-two years of Lady Fife's life. 

In 1776 she had written to her son Arthur : ' My health is now very pre- 
carious and my days cannot be long in this world,' but she lived for twelve 
years longer. In June 1786, Alexander Duff of Maycn writes to William 
Rose from Rothicmay : ' Mrs. Duff was to have dined here this day to 
meet Sir Robert, I-ady and JMiss Bess Abereromby, but was prevented by a 
slight cold and tlic warm day. Lady Fife was in the Kirk, which I Jiope 
will be agreeable information to all friends.' She was then eighty-one. 
Her j)ortrait and that of her husband, done by Alan Ramsay,^ for which 
twenty guineas each was paid, were in the Duff House collection. 

' Lady Gordon. Sec next chapter. ' Avocliic. 

' Alan Ramsay was King's Painter, in which office lie was succeeded in 1784 by Reynolds, 
who describes it as ' a place of not so much profit and of near equal dignity with his Majesty's 
Kat-catchcr.' The salary was then £50. 

a. t iLM 



Major the Honourable Lewis Duff of Blervie to WiUlam Rose 

'\hnnn:y\\\, Jan. \~ilh, 171!!!. 

' Sin, — Jean Countess Dowager ol Fire my Jlolhcr died yesterday. The 
favour of your Company licre on Munday the twenty-first instant by eleven 
o'clock before noon to attend her funerall from this house to the ffamily Buriall 
place at the Church of Grange is requested by Sir, Your mo: obdt. Hum. Scr., 

' Lewis Duff. 

' William Rose, Mounteoffcr.' 

There is one letter to liOrd Braco from his mother, written towards the 
end ol" her lil'c : 

' My Lord, — I am just now favoured with your Lordships letter and have 
receaved from the berer fiftie two pounds fiftion shillings six pencons and two 
thirds woth your not — one Jlount Blerie for fiftie pounds Stirling more which pys 
my anniuty to witsonday fortie foive and I send j'our Lordship inclosed my 
Discharg ther is no ocasion for making any apoligie for not sending the monie 
sooner it hes come in good time and I returne my herty thanks for your punctual) 
payment and beg you will bcliev I shall whill I breath have a most gratfuU sence 
of the many favours you have confered on me and my cheldrcn, 

' I wish your Lordship and my Lady mouch joy of Mistress Duffs maraig * 
and eveiything that is hajjpy to you and your famlie my daughter hade a letter 
of the saini dcat with your Lordships from Mester Abercromby she offers her 
affaxnot humbal duty to you and my Lady braceo my best wishes and blising 
shall ever atend you and your family, for I am with the greatest regard and 
esteem, My Dier Lord, Your Lordships most affaxnot mother and much obliged 
faithful humble servant, Jean Dunbar. (D.) 

' Gl-issa, Jun 7 day, 1745.' 

And one from Lady Braco to her sister-in-law, Lady Roscommon : 

' Dr. Lady, — I will be glade to hear you got safe to Blcarvic and was in time 
enough to the Roup as I hope all has been gott to your ad\'antnge. I am much 
in the same case with the cold when you left this but I hope it will wear of in a 
short time as you desired have send my measure for Bodies and you may please 
buy at the Mareat 50 elns of twecdlin and 21. ditto of tykin. Billy hopes youU 
mind to send Willie Duff in case his health will permitt of itt and I sepose youll 
take care to be here before he goes south to give him your blissing and bid fare- 
well to a younge friend. Mr. Duff and Sophia joine in Compliments to you, and 
I ever am veiy sincerely, Dr. Lady, Your most affectionat sister and faithfull 
servant, Jean Duff. 

• Julhi 21*/, 173C. 

* Janet's marriage to Sir William Gordon of Park. 

.'iTiia , 

j(l«1 to (K 


' Mr. Duff has gotc a call just now to Edr. about privat liusiucss and he talks 
of tiikiiij,' J{illy with liini but L own I aiu againsi, it I ill liis Iicallli be better cstab- 
lishcil. Atliiu. 

' To the Lady lloscommon to the care of Provost Robertson at Elgin.' 
One further letter to Lord Braco may be added : 

Helen Frascr, his first cousin, to Lord Braco 

' My Lord, — I am just now favour'd with your Lordships of this Date and 
am glad to hear that your Lop., Lady Braco and all the family att Rothicmay 
arc all well to whom 1 make offer of my kind complints. As for Adam Duff of 
Clunebcgs being second or fourth son of John Duff of Muldavat I really cannot 
acquaint your Lordship neither do I remember to have ever heard my mother 
talk on that subject. I 'm convinced if any person in this country can inform 
your Lordship about this affair James Duff, Cushenday, will do it. — I am 
sincerely. My Lord, Your Lordships most obcdt. obliged humble Servt., 

' Helen ffraser.^ 

'Uannes, 20M Octr. 1757. 

' To the Right Honourable My Lord Braco att Rothicmay.' {D.) 

This letter from Alexander, second Duke of Gordon, to the Laird of Grant 
shows that the successful rise of the Duff family was not received with 
unmixed satisfaction by the neighbouring lairds. Envy was doubtless 
the principal ingredient in this dissatisfaction : 

'GonnoN Castle, 6 July 1724. 
' Sir, — I hav some reason to beleev Braco is in bargucn with yow about 
Allanbuy, if so, I hope yow will giv it in such a manner as that he may bee no 
trubilsom nabhor to nice about the mosses which probable he intends, if Ald- 
. chach is to bee dispos'd off. I wish yow would not prefer those who by ritches 
support themselves and valu no man's freindship, and doc unnabhorly and 
unfreindly ofllccs to most people to mce in particular. I refer to this honest 
bearer, to both our good freind Bucke who will talkc to yow of other particulars 
I was inform'd of, btit I am shure without good grounds, thought I doubt not of 
the Dufs giving hints of theire good intentions wcr it in their powr, but I hope 
to bee free of them ere long. They may then find I am as ease in wanting their 
freindship as they undervalw mine ! Yow, I know, hav some gues of their manner 
of doing, and as I am tould, is to be free of them accordingly ere long. I wish 
yow and family all happiness and am your most affectionat cousin and humble 
servant, Gordon.' " 

* Daughter of Mary Dufl, Keithraore's daughter. ' Frascr's Chiefs of Grant. 


William Buff, Lord Braco, to Lmlovick Grant, his brother-in-law 

'Ua.vii-, ilnrcli Ut, 173G. 

' Dear Sir, — I have your last of tlic 23rd past, ami I am soe far satisfy'd 
with \vhat you say, that I think grudges ought not to be kccpt up on either syde, 
but rather that the same friendship that was betwixt our predicessors long 
before our days should be intertained with us ; and thougli your connection 
and mync is much nearer than thers was, yet its impossible that ther can be a 
stronger or more heartie friendship than was amongs them on all occasions. 

' I have it to say for myself that I made your cause and your quarrcll always 
mync ; and for my pairt, I 'm for passing over everie thing tliat has hapen'd 
lately, and that bygones may be bygones, and fair play in time to come on both 

' Your sister has given mc a fourth son and the mother and child are in as 
good a way as can be wish'd. . . . Braco.' ^ 

' 5 March 1747. Memorial for the Lord Braco to the Lord Advocate. 

' Upon the 12 and 13 dayes of Aprile 1746 the King's Army under the Com- 
mand of his royall Highness the Duke of Cumberland was quartered on Lord 
Braco's lands on the west side of Spey and his other adjacent grounds, the tenants 
of those lands were during that time so vexed by the depredations of the Army 
that scarce any of them was able to toill or sow their gardens. His Iloyall 
Highness was so sensible of the losses the poor men had sustained that he gave 
fyfty guineas to the Minister to be distributed amongst them and desired that a 
particular account of those losses might be made out. 

' Accordingly the whole tennants compeared before three of the Justices of 
Peace of the County of Murray and deponed upon the particular losses sustained 
by each of them and the Judiciall procedure whereof with a particular account 
of saide losses in a pcaper apairt are herewith sent to .Justice their claim and the 
fyfty guineas given by his Iloyall highcss is deducted from the claim. 

' Its therefore hoped that the Lord Advocate will make proper application 
to the Secretary at war or otherwaycs for giving the poor people some pairt of 
the losses sustained by them.' 

William Lord Braco's large family is treated of in tlie next chapter. 

' Frascr's Chiefs of Grant. 

■• .-".'jaJ^ •.vJ.iUki 





William, born 1724 
Anne, „ 1725 

Janet, „ 1727 

James, „ 1729 

Alexander, „ 1731 

Jane, born 1732 
George, „ 1736 
Lewis, ,, 1737 
Patrick, „ 1738 
Helen, „ 1739 

Sophia, born 1740 
Catherine, ,, 1741 
Arthur, „ 1743 

Margaret, „ 1745 

Of the family of William, Lord Braco and first Earl Fife, a good many 
details can be gathered from a large collection of letters preserved in the 
different branches of the family, a few of which have already appeared in 
jjrint. With three members of the family at different times in the House 
of Commons, and one in the House of Lords, franks were, of course, plenti- 
ful, and for some considerable time Jane, Lady Fife, and her youngest and 
favourite son Arthur corresponded almost daily — a rare thing in those 
days, and one which affords a wonderful storehouse of information on both 
contempoi'ary and family politics. 

The eldest of the family was William, born when his mother was 
nineteen and his father twenty-seven. From his earliest years he would 



seem to have been unsatisfactory ; neitlicr mother nor fatlier had probably 
much time to attend to his early training and education, as she must have 
been entirely occupied with the management of her nursery, and he with 
tlie business of money-making (to be followed later by a plentiful crop 
of lawsuits), as well as with his duties in Parliament, both of which kept 
him much away from home. William was sent to school at Dalkeith, 
but did not get on very well, and was afterwards privately educated by 
tutors, who travelled with him all over England and part of France. No 
expense seems to have been spared. Indeed the father, in a letter to the 
mother, complains bitterly of the amount that ' your son has cost,' and 
elsewhere describes him as ' an abandoned wretch, nothing can ever be 
expected from him,' ' his drinking and idleness still continue,' ' I can do 
no more, I have done my pairt.' ' I found the enclosed from " Glassa' " 
(Gen. Abercromby) anent your unhappy son. It is a bad omen that he 
has not mended anything under Capt. Geddes.' ' The unhappy creature, 
your son, and Mr. Sellars are at Berwick. I have no word from them yet, 
only Lt. Dunbar who had seen them, sent me a note of it. He says that 
your son has a shaking of the hand, like one that has the palsie, and that 
his head is not right, which is no wonder.' ' Sellars has gone to London 
for your son. I have desired that their stay there may be as short as 
possible, and they arc to go on to Boulogne and Rheiias' (1742). ' Jlr. 
Sellars gives up all hope of doing him service, or doing any good with him ' 
(January 1745). 

James Duff, Bcaufront, writes to Lord Braco on August C, 174G : 

' It gives me great pleasure to have your Lordshijis approbation tor removing 
your son from Bishop Aukland which is very much augmented by its having 
so good anc effect. But as I wrote My Lady Braceo the Cth currant which comes 
by this post I shall refer you to that where youll see a just and true account of 
Mr. Duffs present situation. Your orders shall be obeyed as to his pocket- 
money and my best advice shall not be wanting in perswading him to make his 
expenses as moderate as possiljle and he agrees with your Lordship in tliinking 
his signing the Bond of Interdiction one of the best things ever he did. But as 
Mr. Sellers after his return from Rothiemay last year told scvcrall people that 
he had had great offers from you to induce your son to sign the Bond of Inter- 
diction and condescended on sums that I would be ashamed to mention. It was 
no wonder a young gentleman was very much startled who was living in a very 
idle and unhappy way and was intircly ignorant of the nature of the write and 
could not but think it a write dcsign'd to cut him of from the Estate than any 
other thing when you would have offered such large bribes to anyone to get it 
execute. But on my representing to him the true design of the bond and that it 
was not agreeable to common sense you could have made any such offer he was 
quite of another mind. I am satisfied Sellers will make loud complaints on me 


for scMiiig lliis oblii^uUon in siicli ii stvoiif;- lif:;lil. to yonr Lordsliip wliicli I do not; 
in llic k'ust viiliiL' since I should liiivi; Ihonj^ht myself ;i very grctit villain had I 
kocpt silence in luie affair of tliis kind wherein your interest was concerned. 
I shall write Montblairy anend the pcice of linnen. I shall write you as oft as 
I see occasion anent your son and you may bcleive 111 do every thing in my power 
to render my self worthy of the confidence you have reposed in me and continue 
with the greatest respect. My Lord, Your Lordships most oblidgcd Iiumble 
servt., • James Duff.' i (D.) 

According to family tradition, the unfortunate young man had strong 
sympathies with the Jacobite cause, and would have gone out with his 
brother-in-law. Sir William Gordon, but was driven back by force. He 
seems to have had no profession, nor taken any part in public life, though 
he went up to London with good introductions, and writes from there in 
1749 : 

William Diijf, eldest son of Lord Braco, to his father 

' London, 31s/ January IT-IO. 
' My Lord, — I arrived here safly the twinty fift of this mounth and loges 
in Pal Mell. I have visetcd S^ Lodwiek Grant and Coll. Abercrombie who arc 
both cxtrecmly sivel to me and has a general invitation to there houses, as soon 
as my cloaths are ready S^ Lodwiek is to introduce me to the Duck of Newcastle 
and Mr.Pelhamas he thinks it proper I should pay mylevay. The Duck of Gordon 
has several times desiered Major Grant to bring me along with him to spend the 
eivning which I intend to do as soon as my cloaths are ready. I supt at S'' 
Lodwieks last night and there was an officer inquering about Lodie Me intosh - 
but could get no account of him. The officer told me that Lodie was intitled to 
eight hundred pounds str. as his shear of prise money which would be very agree- 
able news to him if he knew of it. S'' Lodwiek Grant and Coll. Abercrombie 
have there compliments to you. Please make offer of my duty to my Lady and 
belive me to be with great sincerity, My Lord, Your Lordships most Dutfull and 
affectionate Son, William Duff.' (0.) 

William Duff never married, and died in London in IT-^S. Of his last 
days we liavc the following accounts : 

Colonel James Ahercromhy to Alexander Stuart of Edinglassic 

' CitAVEN Strket, 3d March 1753. 
' Dr. Sir, — This day sevennight I informed you of the state of Mr. Duff's 
licaltli who the day thereafter pressed much to have the famous Mr. Ward's 
advice being greatly possessed in favours of him from the acc'^ he had from 

* See chapter xxxix. ' See chapter viii. 

,„.y..,, I.^,l ,.,. 

ii'f .t.'oH' ?>?«•* 'fPfffj' 


severals who liad been ciuTd by liim in similar cases u])oii wiiirli I went ininicdi- 
at.ely lo Dr. Priiigle wIkj most readily a|)])n)vcd because he knew wlieic Waid 
liad had remarkable success in such cases where all Lhc skill of rcyuiar I'liysicians 
had failed. Upon this Ward was called the '25t.h in afternoon and that night 
Mr. Duff took his powder and has since followed his prescription whicli have 
had little other effect than to reduce the swelling in his ancles. Eoth Dr. Pringle 
and Mr. Ward are of opinion that his lungs arc affected, in which case they despair 
of accomplishing a cure, in the mean time all possible care shall be taken. You 
will take the proper way to communicate this to My Lord Braco and if any 
extraordinary change happens I shall not fail to write to you by next post. — 1 
am, D'' Sir, Your most obed' humble servant, 

' James Auercromby.' (D.) 

G. Grant to Lord Braco 

'LoND., 27 March 1753. 
' My dear Lord, — Last night poor Mr. Duff paid his last del^t to nature 
which I forsaw for some time tho' others were of a contrary oppinion. I have 
Coll. Abercrombie with me to Breakfast this morning and wc have agreed to 
bury the poor youth in a frugal but decent and genteel manner in St. Margcts 
Church, Westminster, in a Vault where his Grand Father Sr. James and sevcrall 
of his cousincs lie, we propose to do this on friday next in the evening ^ — there 
are some debts due to tradesmen for necessarys supplied your son which it will be 
worthy of your Lordships honour to pay of, these cann amount to no greatc sum, 
. . . what was necessary for Doctrs, Nurses, Lodging necessary's when languish- 
ing under sickness were it my case, I wouUl ])ay these as well as his funeral 
charges. I beg pardon for offering unasked adN ice on this occasion — I have no 
view but regard for your Famih's lionoin-. I shall allways be glade to do every- 
thing you cann expect from a friend to convince you tluit 1 am most truly, 
Your Lops. Mst. faithfull and Obedt. Sert., G. Guaxt.' {D.) 

The two eldest daughters, Anne, born 1725, and Janet, 1727, seem, un- 
like their eldest brother, to have had greater educational advantages than 
the younger ones. In the winter of 1739-1740, when they were fourteen and 
twelve, their father was passing the season in Edinburgii and took these 
two children with him, presumably leaving the six younger ones at Rothie- 
may with their mother. They had lessons in writing, dancing, music, etc., 
and their father seems to have taken great interest in their progress, and 
writes that he is ' to give all their masters a bottle of wine, to prompt 
them to be at pains in teaching them.' Later in the winter he writes that 
the ' fever of cold from which Anne was suffering has turned to a fever of 
small-pox ' ; both girls seem to have had the disease rather badly, and 
Anne at least was in girat danger and was marked for life. They were 

' To avoid the arresting of the body for debt. 



nursed by the landlady ' with great attention,' but with apparently no 
thought of isolation. During the crisis, her father writes that he has 
been ' brought in to promise a wateh to Aimc, on eondition that she doe 
everything tliat 's advized for eontributing to her reeoverie, and that she 
don't toueh her face or liurt her eyes. This being the 11th day she fell 
into the sniall-pox, they are blackening very well, but she has had a good 
load of them,' and later, ' She will be prettic much pitlied, but we should 
be thankful when life and sight are preserved. She lias plucked up a good 
deal of spirit since she got her sight again. She was uncasie with the 
diffluxion in them. Janet these two days past has a gentle fever. I shall 
be well pleased if prove the small-pox, because they are yet favourable. 
If there is anything worth while I '11 write you by the post, but I hope this 
will make you easier.' 

Again : ' I much apj)rove your calmness and good disposition on that 
head, which is worthy of you. To tell you the truth, Anne was in great 
danger, and therefore we have the greater reason to be thankful to Almighty 
God for her reeoverie. Janet is now in perfect health.' But Janet was 
a delicate girl, and some time afterwards was threatened with consumption ; 
lists of curious medicaments supplied for her use still exist, and the uni- 
versal panacea, asses' milk, sometimes also ' goots' milk,' was prescribed, 
and ' tar Avater for the spitting of blood,' of which her father writes that 
' since it is ane innocent thing, I see noe harm tho' Jessie try it.' It is 
strange to remember this in view of the hardships she went through in 
her later life, but she died at thirty-one. Her father also describes her as 
' a very thoughtless and imprudent girl.' Anne was evidently the favourite. 

Anne married, at twenty, her cousin, Alexander Duff of Hatton, and 
her subsequent history with that of her daughter is treated of under the 
Hatton family. She liVed to be eighty. 

Janet married at eighteen, in 1745, Sir William Gordon of Park, who 
had already identified himself with the Jacobite cause. He was described 
by an official of the Commissioners of Excise as ' A rebel Collonel, and very 
aetif in distressing the country by levying money, using very violent 
measures.' Her father alludes to ' the young Kniglit of Park,' in connec- 
tion with some fishing dis|Dutc in 1733, so he was considerably his wife's 
senior. She is said to have elo[)cd with him from Ilothicmay, leaping from 
a window for the jnirjiose, and when, in the same year, Alexander Duff 
made proposals for the hand of Anne, the father writes to his wife that he 
strongly disapproves, and warns her to allow no correspondence and to 
guard Anne carefully, ' in view of what happened lately.' Apinxrently 
the veto was shortly after removed in the ease of Anne, and Janet was 
forgiven, for when her husband was proscribed after Cullodcn, and remained 


some time in Iiiding on his own estates, slie was with her niotlier at llothic- 
niay, and her daiif^hter Jean was horn there. Sii' \Villiain eseaped to Dotiai, 
where liis hrave wife h)llowed him with her hahy, soniewiiat against iier 
lather's wishes, and they lived there until William's death, Jmic 5, 1751. 
The following letters give a pathetic picture ol' Janet's state of mind and 
of her life in exile : 

J and Gordon, Park, to her father. Lord liruco 

'Aug. 20", 1747. 
' My Lord, — Nothing can give me more eonscarn then my being obliged to 
write your Lordshijj of my resolutions of going abroad a thing that must be 
against what you would wish me to doc. God knows what sorrow it gives me 
the thoughts of disobliging you but then I know my own weakness so well that 
tho the many good reasons you would may be give me for my staying might get 
the better of me so far as I would ycald to your advice and promise to stay but 
I know I am quit uncapable of keeping to that resolution so I think it best to 
dell honestly and tell you my weakness. I hope in God as a kind parent you '11 
forgive me for this step when you see its not in my power to get the better of it, 
in the first pleaee were I to stay it would make a breach between my husband 
and me, as he has laj'd his positive comands on mc to come over to him, and after 
what past between him and me at Edin^ I know it would break his peace and mine 
for ever it I disobey'd him. My dear Lord, you know I have mate with many 
nussfortuncs but the lose of my husband's affection would be heavier as all I 
have mate with and you may be assured that would be the consequence were I 
to stay after so many absolute orders he 's given me. I most earnestly beg of 
you that you '11 forgive mc doing this and dont hdd your angrc to my miseries 
as it would give me the utmost truble and uneasiness to offend my Lady or you, 
if you think it any way necdfull for me to be in this country in the spring or at 
any time, I will most willingly come back as all I want is to see my husband and 
to show him that 111 obey him, but as I said btfor whatever time you desire me 
to come back you may depend on my obeying you, when I see my husband III 
endeavour to show him that his siteation of his affairs is not in such a bad way 
as he imagions and show him at the same time that his friends is doing all that 
lys in there power to bring things to a happy concliistion. I shall add no more 
to this but beg your Lordship will contimie your friendship to my husband and 
me and be assured that we will never fell in our dulifiill regard what ever be our 
fates. — I ever am, My Dear Lord, Your most affectionate Diiughterand Faith- 
fnll servant, jANirr GoiiuoN.' (D.) 

The next is to her motlier two and a half years later : 

'D.iuAi, Afny 10, 17/iO. 
' My OKAii Madam, — As I have the opportunity of Mr. Smith going to 
Scotland I can't deny myself the happcncss of writting your ladyship and to 


asure your ladyship of the satisfaction it gives me to hear you and all your familie 
being well, which I liave tlice pleasure to liear jjrctty often, as tlicre is alwisc 
people coming to Ihis from IJriltoii, wliieh I think is a great advantage to this 
pleace our hearing often of our friends. We would live pretty reasonable hear, 
if it were not for some English families that has come hear to settle, I dont mean 
merchants but people of condition, some upon accounts of there health and 
others for reasons that they choose to keep to thereselvcs, there is only some of 
them that I choose to be acquainted with, but not to be intimet with cithcre 
of them, for its not for compinie that we stay liear, its to leave as cheap and 
private as possible and even if I could afford it I have no inclination, for the 
tender state of health I 'm in, the only devertion I take is any day that I 'm 
cable to go out, whicli is not many, to goc a little airing in the chaise, as Mr. 
Johnston * is obliged to keep a chaise and horse upon the account of his traivling 
sometimes upon his bussiness and its cluaper as liyering horses, he leaves me to- 
morrow, and is oblidgcd to stay there till the first of November with his bussi- 
ness, I would glaidly hope he will get back fcjr a few days ■when I am brought to 
bed, as at that time you may be sure it will be a great comfort to me, his being 
in the same place, whate\'er be my fate, consiilering the tender state I am always 
in, it is no groat surprisse it the worst should happen me at such a time, but as I 
came throw last in the same tender state of health, it ought to encourage me now. 
' \Ve was a good deal alarmed hear with a feavour that they say was raging 
in Aberdeenshire, it gives me pleasure to hear no more of it. I was afraid it 
would come to Banffshire, I '11 asure you my dear Madam, that my thoughts 
is oftenest there and many an airxious wish have I for all your health and happe- 
ness. I think oftcner on my friends as I ought to doe, as it can be of no use to 
them and it only serves to disturb my mind, and can never bring me nearer them. 
Tho Mr. Johnston is as often with me as possible, yet its impossible for me when 
I think of being absent from all the friends I have, but it must make a very depth 
impration on me. I '11 asure your ladyshiji all the other unconveniences I have 
is not near so hard upon me as being banished from you and my dearest friends 
and not to think I have parents, but must be denyed the blessing of seeing them 
for even to have the liappeness to be in the same country with you, its impossible 
that ever that can happen. Everybody els has a chance, but we have none, 
over to be so happy, you may be sure that the same thought is hard upon my 
friend and gives him more uneasiness as he cares to show, for my part I never 
speak to him on the subject, as my sorrow and grief is more touching to him as 
his own, for my melancholic may be easilie read in my face. You never saw 
such a chainge upon a person as there is on me every day and I am afraid instead 
of time making it the more easy to people in our way, it will rathere make it 
the worse, I am afraid the maladie du Pais will kill the most of us in spite of all 
the spirits the best of us have, the only happeness we can have is to hear some- 
times from our friends. I beg my dear Madam, if you will make mc happy to 
let mc have but a line from you now and then to keep up my spirits. 

• This name was used by Sir William Gordon for purposes of concealment. 


' I beg you would cause my brothers \vnle nie, llicy bUimc inc for not writ- 
ting Ukiu oftener its iin])ossil>lc to tliciii lo lliink how iiard it is on nie to write 
or hold luy head down to anything, I am so tormented with a violent trouble 
in my head wliieh I am convineed is something of the ague, as it eomes on alwisc 
at a set time. I have neavcr been altogether free of it since I come to this eountry, 
they say the bark is the only cure I can have. 

' My dear Madam, I hope your goodness will excuse this long scrawl and be 
so good as to make offer of my affect, humble duty to my lord and my affect, 
best wishes to my young friends. Mr. Johnston is writting your ladyshijj so 
I shall only add that I am with the greatest respect and regard your ladyship 
most faithful and duttyfull humble servant, Janet Johnston. 

' I return your ladyship many thanks for the dryed fish they came very soft 
here and is very good. I wrote my sester to see if possible there could be a cook- 
maid sent me to dress our meat and help to wash our linnings, the man servant 
I got over is learning to market for me and seems to be very honest, as he does 
for that part. I want to keep no servant in a better way as a cookmaid. For 
a gentlewoman I am not such a fool as to set upon that footing, and I have been 
at a great loss with a drunken creator I have had for some time by past. — My 
dear Bladam, Adieu.' (0.) 

Iler son John was born at Boulogne in 1749, William in 1750, and a 
second daughter, who did not long survive, in 1751, after her father's death. 
The name of Johnston was adopted, even in letters to her pai'cnts, as a 
disguise for the attainted Jacobite, who still seems to have been vciy busy 
in his master's affairs. After his death, Janet writes that her mother may 
now address her as Duff or Gordon, since there are ' others taking the 
name of Johnston.' 

George Forbes to Lord Broco 

'DouAi, 9 Aug. 1751. 
' My Lord, — If I had not reason to belive you was acquainted some time 
agoc of Sr. William Gordon's Death, I would have wrot you sooner on that 
subject and informed you fully of his Lady's melancholy and even destitute 
situation. She is not as yet brought to bed, as I was perswaded that Lady 
Braco was wrot to on that head I never doubted but some reasonable suplay 
would have been remitted to her, altho I have not talkdd to Lady Gordon about 
her situation as it would surely renew her grief, yet I find she would be intirely 
destitute in this country were it not for a very good firm in this place, the regard 
I have for your Lordship and Familic oblidgcs mc use this freedom which I 
hope youll be so good as excuse to inform you that if you doe not order her money 
without delay she and her Family will be reduced to the greatest straits, for altho 
I and scvcrall oyrs in this country have all the Inclination in earth to doc her all 


the service we are capable of, yet as to money matters which is what she needs 
most its entirely out of our power and I can assure that had she been in any 
oyr town but this slie had been badly off longe Ijcfor this time, but here she 
luckely found a friend who hath supplied her hitherto, but as his funds are not 
very considerable it will not be in his power to continue the same favour much 
longer so for Godsakc My Lord take this affair into your serious consideration 
and doc not delay sending her a speedic relief. As your Lop. may perhaps be 
at a loss to know what remittance she would presently need as not knowing the 
state of Sr. Wms. affairs here I shall take the liberty to tell you that Sr. Wm. 
had some few debts which he was nccessarlj' oblidged to contract for tlie support 
of his Family and if these are not Sioeedil)' i)aid all the little effects he had and 
even his and his Ladys body cloaths will be sold for the payment of them which 
surly you would be vext at besides as he was not in a way to have any Ready 
money she hath been living on credit and therefor I believe you will need to 
remitt her betwixt 3 and 400 £ over otherwise slie will be surly reduced to the 
greatest want. This goeth under cover to Mr. James Petrie advoeat in Aber- 
deen. Ill bcge your Lop. will be so good is make my Compliments to Lady 
Braeoe and worthie Familie and belive that I am, witli the greatest truth and 
esteem. My Lord, Your Lops, most obed. and faithfull Hum. Sert., 

' Geo: Forbes.' (D.) 

Janet Gordon to her mother 

' DouAV, -lith Jan. 1752. 

' My dear MADA^r, — I delay'd answering your Layship's kind letter till I 
should write to my Lord Clare and have liis answer. He thinks I will know 
something of the Court's determination as to my Pension by the Month of Aprile, 
Tho' may be will not have it intyerlie Settled, and possibly it may be sooner, 
but that 's what we cannot know till wc see what time they bring all the affairs 
of Gratifications, and of Pensions before them. Mine will only be determined 
when those affairs comes in. 

' But as your Layship observes it will be the Month of Aprile befor I could 
take such a jurnie with my familie. I think it 's best for me not to give over 
thoughts of it till I see what is to be done. At any rate I could wish it were not 
dissagreeable to my friends and not prejudutiall to my affairs in this Countrj% 
I would be glaid to come over to see my friends as I believe being amongst my 
friends and my own Country air Avill be the first thing that will ever bring me 
health ore spirits. 

' I will have some Guess against Summer, if what will be granted me be worth 
my while to stay in this country ore not, if I find its any thing considerable, I 
can Leave my Children hear, as I am sure they will be taken care of, and there 
being hear will make my Going out of the country for some time not taken notice 
off. If it is considerable ore a trillle that they Grant me I will write your Lay- 

:.(• [ 


sliip as soon as I can have my IcTiowlcdyc of il, ami yotir I^MysIiip will give mc 
your opinions if you tliink it woiLli my while of JJohing ni\iielf for the rest ot 
my days of the happeness being amongst my Friends. 

' As I see things turn out, I ean have your Layships advice if I should bring 
over my familic or not, I am pretty sure I '11 get it so managid that I may come 
over for a few months and see my friends without being of any pnjudiee or 
hinderance to what Settlement theymakcfor me, which will at least be Pleasure to 
me in the meantime, if I be so unhappy as to Leave absent from them afterwards 
to tell your Layship my true Sentiments, the thoughts of it, is very unsuportable, 
to me, and had I none but my Self to provide for I would rather choise to Leave 
in the narrowest Circumstances at home, then I would be oblidgcd to Stay in 
this country. It was liard upon me befor I lost all that was dear to me in it, 
but God knows it 's Doubly so now Since He is Gone, if it be my fate I must 
Submite to it, as I have done to all my former missfortuncs however hard it be 
upon me. Its one thing quit ceartain that I can never be a year out of thess 
country without the resk of lossing any Penssion that is Settled on me and living 
in this country may be my interest, but will never be my inelenations let things 
be never so advantageous for me. But I shall be intycrly derceted by my Papa 
and you, and is determined what ever you think will be best for the interest of 
my familie I shall follow, I will Live hear as frugally as possible, till Sunmicr 
that we know a little more what will be done. 

' I have got a promise of a first Leu*' Commession to my Eldest Son which 
is about live and therty poiuid a year, if they make out these promise I will soon 
know, as that Conmiession is just now vacant. It will at lest educate him, and 
if he be spared till he come of age and nothing better turn out for him at home 
it will give him a good rank for a better Commession. 

' As near as I ean tell you of my Suttuation in this Country is ; the Ilunder 
Pound your Layship was so good as give me, cleared all the Debts we were owing, 
such as house Rents, familie accounts, and the Expeneess of my familie at 
Boulogne when I was absent and the Physicians account at Boulogne for attend- 
ing my Eldest son when he was bad, and the rest of the children, Tlie Physicians 
and Apothecary's accounts hear, and all the other Extraordinary Expeneess 
that the unhappy accident of Sir Wm.'s Death brought mc, pay'd all the 
Chairges of my lying in and clcered all I was due till that time. 

' Since I was brought to Bed you may believe I have not brought my Self 
in to great Dilfieultys as I have lived quit retyered, and at the easyest way 
possible, However my Sister's Bill of forty Pound was a very Seasonable relief 
to clear bygones and provide some little necessaries I stood in need of. 

' My familie consists of tow maid servants, three children and my Self ; my 
youngest Child I have out at nurse, She stands me about eighteen shillings per 

' My Health is rathere better than when I wrote your Layship last, but I am 
still very weak and tender and has violent headaehs ; I believe I shall never be 

* This child died young. 

rjiT ' mm 

■ia quia 


well till I have the happiness of seeing my friends, I thank God my young folks 
is pretty well save AVillie that is a little tender with Teathing. 

' I beg my most affectionate Humble Dutty to my Lord and my sincicr 
good wishes to my Brothers and Sisters and sincierly wish every thing that 's 
good to you and them, I ever am, with the greatest regard and Respect, My dear 
Madam, your Layship Dutifull Daughter and most humble Servant, 

' Janet Gordon.' (0.) 

Apparently it was arranged that all should return, and in 1753 she 
married again, George Ilay, younger of Mountblairy, and had a happy 
married lire ■with him at Carnousic (which he had piuchased from the 
trustees of Arthur Gordon), and she died there March 3, 175S. She had 
several Hay children, but only one daughter, born 1754, survived her. 

There are many hajipy letters from her to her parents from Carnousic — 
Janet was always an excellent correspondent, — and the following from her 
husband about the children of her first marriage is interesting : 

' I am very Happy to hear that your Lordp. has brought Mrs. Hays affair 
and Captain Gordons to such a bearcing and must confess if your Lordjj. had not 
(he interest of these Children more at lieart then other people, it had never come 
such a length. I hope the children will be gratefull, which is all I believe your 
Lordp. espccts for your great Expense and trouble. Thank God they are all 
wcel and want no thing so much now as a proper Plan of their education, which 
can be concerted by your Lordp. and their other friends. AVee have a surmise 
that Capt. Gordon hourly expects a call but in any event I dare say he will wait 
of your Lordp. Lady Cubbin [his sister] and him dine here this day. Lord Banff 
and I have been pritty oft together since he came to the Country and joking 
about the Sale of his Estate and I am not shure but if he finds a hearty merchant 
will dispose of it, this I only mention to your Lordp. as he does not want any 
person should suspect his selling, but if anything further occurs shall acquaint 
your Lordp. but should incline this letter should be burnt and not seen to any. 

' If your Lordp. and family will honour us with a visite in your way home 
it will make us all very happy, and should be glade to know when you intend 
to sett out from Edin''. All this family in the sincerest maiuier joins me in good 
wishes and rcspectfull compliments to your Lordp. Lady Braco and Family, 
and I always am with the greatest respect and esteem, My Lord, Your Lordships 
most obedient and most obliged humble servant, Geo: Hay. 

' Caunousie, 3d Aprile 1755. 

* To the Lord Braco at Rothiemay. 

' P.S.—Mvs. Hay would have wrote Lady Braco but is just now most 
violently taken ill of one of her Collecks which wee arc afraid may prove 

poUoi ^^twc 


dangerous in her present situation Laudonuni is the only tiling she expects 
case from.' (L>.) 

Jean Gordon, elder daughter of Janet and Sir William Gordon, married 
Duncan Urquhart of Burdsyards and had issue, and died 17G7,' twenty-one 
years before her grandmother. It is conjectured that it was to her grand- 
children that allusion is made in saying that old Lady Fife ' saw her 
descendants to the fifth generation.' Janet's two sons were both soldiers. 
John, the elder, had in his infancy a commission in the French army.^ 
In his early manhood he became a great thorn in the side of his family, 
both Duffs and Gordons. Having been born abroad, after his father's 
attainder, lie had, of course, no legal right to the baronetcy or the estate 
of Park. Eventually lie obtained the baronetcy, but the entailed property 
went to his uncle, Captain John Gordon of the Jlarines. He came to Scot- 
land in 1775 to claim both, and demanded money from his relatives. There 
arc many allusions to him in Arthur's letters, who says in one place : 
' Although Park makes him welcome to the title, I believe he will not 
have the complaisance to part with the acres.' 

His uncle, James, Lord Fife, writes to Arthur : ' He is a terrible boy, 
John Gordon ; keep clear of him, my dear Arthur, as much as you can. 
He has come to the country to lay his relations under a contribution of a 
trifle of £3000. Do you think lie will find it easy ? ' 

Arthur, the bachelor uncle, did offer money to send him back to France, 
but, at first, John would not go, and when he did, returned in the following 
year. ' Gordon is to sail in two days ; Lord Fife will not see him, but says 
if his behaviour merit it, lie will serve him ' (March 14, 1775). ' He wants 
£3000 to purchase a colonelship in the French service.' Arthur then 
describes him as ' an eyesore to all the conned ion, a Avorthlcss, desperate, 
mean-spirited, lying, dishonest wretch.' All money advanced to him, 
even that obtained with great dilTlculty by his hard-working younger 
brother, was spent in gaming and dissipation. 

' Poor Will Gordon, I am sorry for him, his horrid brother hath hurt 
him in more ways than in the purse.' ' His advance to his brother makes 
him live the life of a hermit.' 

His grandmother. Lady Fife, was at one time favourably disposed 
towards him, and even mildly scolded Iter favoiu-ite son Arthur for hard- 
ness of heart in the matter, but she could take no pleasure in his society. 
' I am informed,' she says, in the whimsical manner which makes her 

' September 7, 1767, ' Died about ten clays ago, some weeks after childbirth, Lady Burds- 
yards, at the family seat near Forres ' [Aberdeen Journal). Burdsyards is now Sanquhar. 
- For longer account see chapter xxxvii. on Gordons of Park. 


letters such delightful reading, ' that Sir John is coining north next month, 
and is to take u]) his quarters with me all winter. I have had more agree- 
able company, but, poor man, he is to be pitied. I think his head is wrong.' 
At length, even she decides that his father's ])cople ought to provide for 
him, and that ' the Captain ^ will have to draw his purse to him.' James 
Duff of Banff also refers in one letter to ' poor Johnny Gordon,' and inter- 
cedes for him. 

lie was finally despatched to India, with some difficulty. Arthur 
writes to his mother : ' We had a very disagreeable interview with Sir 
John Gordon yesterday. He Jiad outrun the constable at Portsmouth, 
and without a fresh supply must have been arrested and lost his passage. 
Colonel B. Gordon and James Duff and I advanced twenty guineas to 
relieve him, with positive assurance we would not give one penny more, 
or ever again sec him until he returned from India.' 

His wife, Hannah Corner, the daughter of a baker in St. Martin's Street, 
London, had a sister married to a man in some position of authority in 
India. Arthur remarks, ' The connexion there might be useful. Here it 
is surely neither very honourable nor advantageous.' There were three 
children of the marriage : John Benjamin, died young ; Sir John Bury 
Gordon, and Jessie, who married Richard Creed of Hans Place. Sir 
John died in 17S1, killed at the siege of Basscin. 

William, who was born at Douai, a year before his father's death, was 
a much more reputable personage, but unfortunately cursed with epilepsy. 
He got a commission in the 52nd Regiment, and became a lieutenant, but 
was unable to purchase a company. He served in America, and was on 
particularly friendly terms with his uncle Lewis, who was there at the 
same time. He died at Mountblairy in 177G, aged twenty-five, being at 
that time engaged in recruiting in the north. 

Arthur writes : ' I cannot tell you how much affected I am at poor 
Will Gordon's death. I could not sleep last night with concern. Thank 
God, it did not happen at Rothicmay. I am told he had a fit when upon 
foraging duty in America, and was very near taken jirisoncr, being carried 
off the Field by five soldiers or it must have happened. This was, it seems, 
the reason, altho' unkno^vn to him, that he was sent upon the recruiting 

His grandmother also felt his death very much, and comments thus on 
the want of feeling shown by his aunt : ' I have had a letter from Lady 
Anne on the subject of poor Willie's death. She writes with as much in- 
difference as if it had been her Catt that was dead ! ' 

' His uncle and Uie tlien possessor of Park 


JVilliam Braco Gordon, son of Sir WiUinm Gordon of Park, to 
his grandmotlicr, Jane, Lady Fife 

'London, \fjth March 1775. 

' My dear !Madam, — I certainly would have done myself the honor to have 
wrote your Ladyshijj on my arrivel delayed from day to day in expectation to 
have had tlie pleasure of acquainting you that a reconciliation had taken place 
betwixt Lord Fife and I. I made use of every means possible to bring it about. 
I 'm exceeding sorry to say that I have found his Lordship quite obdurate, and 
consequently must have recourse to other friends for their assistance as I cannot 
de2)cnd nor build upon the smallest aid from that Quarter, which you may believe 
me, my dear Madam, gives me real Concern. I have wrote Gight requesting 
the lend of two hundred pounds. I nevei mentioned the subject to him before, 
notwithstanding I 'm pretty confident the faver will be granted. I have wrote 
Cpt. Lewis Duff on the: same subject for one himdred pounds, Mr. Hay, Ramies 
one hundred pounds, Mr. James Duff of Banff one hundred pounds and the two 
hundred pounds which your Ladyship had the goodness to promise me together 
wilh my little capital will amount to the sum totale for ascertaining the pur- 
chase of a Company when a Vacancy offers, which I 'm certain cannot possibly 
happen before the Kegt. returns to Great Britain, when I make no doubt their 
will be toe three for sell. I intend restricting myself to Lieut. 's pay after I 
arrive at the Company and to allow the difference together with my annuity 
which will amount in all to about £l50 per annum and in less than six years will 
repay my friends, while I shall always retain a proper sensibility of the obliga- 
tion. Nothing but absolute necessity and ambition to get on in the World 
could have enduccd me to follow tliis plan. I have been cxtremel)' punctual 
in attending the plays and other publiek amusements every night since I came to 
Town and propose persisting during my residence, which will be but short. We 
embark AVednesday for certain and proceed strait for Boston, there are only 
8 olTiccrs aboard the Transport I sail in. It will be doing me a particular faver 
to write me as often as convenient. My direction, Lt. Gordon, 52nd Regt., 
Boston. The American affairs arc the chief topic here, every Coff. House and 
every different company you go into that subject is always brought upon the 
Carpet that you neither know which party to credit. AVhen I get to Boston I 
sliall endeavour to give your Ldp. the most authentic accounts I possible can. 
I don't despair of being able to eat a Christmas goose with your Ladyship at 

' I was exceeding sorry to hear from an olTicer yesterday of the Eighth 
Regt. that all the absent oflicers were order'd to join immediately which I 'm 
realy sorry for on account of my friend the Capt.' as I 'm persuaded returning 
a second time to America will be perfectly disagreeable to him. I have the 

* His im,:le, Lewis Duff. 




honor to be, with the greatest gratitude and sincerity, my Dear Madam, Your 
most obedient and very Humble Servant, 

' William Biiaco Goudon. 
•Lady Fife.'' (0.) 

The fourth child of William, Lord Brace, and his second wife Jean 
Grant was James, his successor in the titles. Kis character and career 
are described in chapter xi. lie was born in 1729 at Rothiemay. In 
his early years he and his brother Alexander were instructed by the tutor, 
Mr.Abcl, and afterwards he was jiresumably at St. Andrews University, 
as were his four younger brothers (but tiic roll of alumni, as published, 
only begins just early enough to include Alexander, who entered in 1748). 
On the death of his elder brother he became his father's heir, at the age of 
twenty-four, and in 1759, as the eldest son of the Irish peer, he became 
Viscount JIacduff. lie seems to have had rather an overweening sense of 
his own importance, and quarrels between him and various members of 
his family were of frequent occurrence. His youngest brother Arthur 
says ' he volunteered in his quarrels with his friends ' ; but during the 
latter part of his own residence in London appears to have been on most 
friendly terms. His mother writes of one of these occasions: 'Your 
noble brother is just as was expected. I would let him enjoy his good 
friendly temper at Whitehall by himself.' Lewis also writes : ' I received 
a very polite epistle from his Majesty of Fife in answer to one I wrote him 
about Billy Gordon.' But that his family affections were strong many of 
his letters to his favourite sister Anne, and to his youngest brother will 
shoAV. Anne writes to her mother about some appointment which lier 
husband Avas endeavouring to obtain : ' Slaedulf has really by his activity 
and friendship upon this occasion bound Mr. Duff to perpetual obligation. 
Lord Adam writes that the Viscount is immensely active, and I assure you 
Mr. Duff is very grateful.' 

In 17G0 Lord Macduff begs leave to recommend to the Duke of New- 
castle, his brother-in-law, Mr. Duff, as candidate at next election for the 
county of Aberdeen, at present represented by Lord Adam Gordon. 
This must have been Alexander Duff of Hatton. Nothing seems to have 
come of the idea. 

The fifth child and third son Avas Alexander, afterAvards third Earl 
Fife, Avhose career Avill also be found in the chapters on the Earls of Fife. 
His early education Avas the same as that of liis brother James, two years 
older, and he afterwards Avcnt to the University of St. AndrcAvs. He 
seems to have given no trouble to his parents in his youth, cither as regards 
his health or his character. He was ahvays an extremely correct person, 
and anxious to stand Avell ' Avith the poAvers that be.' His younger brother 


•iiioY ' 

I. in ?f 


Lewis writes in 1767 : ' I have seen honest Arthur twice since he came to 
town, but Sandie, for fear of disoblidging his brother Fife, will not pay me 
a visit, and I am glad to see Sandie act so much like a politician, and as 
he thinks it will put him in the Court's good ojiinion, I shall most certainly 
excuse his visits.' 

The sixth child was Jane, born 1732.^ She married at twenty-one, in 
1753, Keith Urquhart of Bethelnie, and is described in the Aberdeen 
Journal of the day as ' an agreable young lady, with a handsome fortune.' 
lie was son of William Urquhart of Meldrum, who wrote thus to her 
father about her : 

'Memjuum, Ocloher Wth, 1753. 

' My Lord, — Having lately understood that my son has a very great regard 
and affection for your Daughter Miss Duff and intends to offer his Service to 
her : I think it my duty to acquaint your Lordship, that it is a thing extremely 
agreeable to mc, providing it be so to you and my Lady Braco ; and I will 
reckon it a great happiness to him as well as an advantage to my family, to have 
the honour of so near a connexion with your Lordships. I 'm sorry that I can't 
make his fortune so great as she deserves, but you may believe that I will go all 
reasonable lengths that my circumstances can allow ; and I will be very glad 
to know your Lordships Liclinations, 

' I beg leave to offer my respcctfull compliments to my Lady and all your 
Family and am with great respect. My Lord, Your Lordships most obedient and 
most faithfull humble servant, W. Urquhart.' (D.) 

They had four sons : James, who succeeded, born 1754 ; ' Lewis, a 
captain in the Army, who died 1790 ; two others died in infancy ; and two 
daughters, Jane and j\Iary, both unmarried. Shortly after the birth of 
her youngest child Jane left lier husband and resided in London. All that 
is known subsequently is contained in the following letters from Arthur 
to his mother, and from her husband to Lord Fife of the same date. None 
of her OAvn letters have been preserved, and her name rarely occurs in the 
family correspondence. 

Arthur, as usual, interested liimseU" in the career of these nephews. 
He took a great deal of trouble to obtain a commission in the 58th Regi- 
ment and a lieutenancy for Lewis, and helped him to raise the necessary 

The two daughters were a good deal with their aunt. Lady Anne. 
One died in lSO-1. 

• 'November i6, 1732. Jean, lawful daughter of William Duff of Braco, was baptised. 
Named after Dipplc's first and second Lady and Lady Braco' {Banff Registers). 

- 'On December 8, 1734, the Lady of Keith Urquhart of Bethelnie of a son and heir, at 
their house of Meldrum, to the great joy of this ancient family.' 


Jlon. Arthur Duff of Orton to his mother 

' Sui'i'or.K SriiKKT, 
London, March ^'Jlh, 1770. 

' My dear Madam, — I was happy to understand by yours of yesterday that 
you was in good Health, altho ahnost buried with Snow. I met Lord Fife this 
Day at the House of Commons, who gave me a Picee of IntelHgence and desired 
me to conuiiunieate it to your Ladyship. For this five years past it seems Lady 
Jcane Unpihart has hved at Mile End, unknown to any Friend. Slic Died last 
niglit, ami is to be privately enterred Tomorrow Evening, MeKey the groeer 
and His Servant only to be present. I beg'd He wd. not put Her Death in the 
Papers, but cannot tell you whether Ho will comj^ly or not, I leave this place 
on Saturday or Sunday morning and will hardly write again until I get to Edin- 
boro, as I will be nmch hurried getting all my things put u|), and attending the 
Militia Ball, and our appeal, -svlueh eonies on Tomorrow and Thursday. Lewis 
and Mrs. Dull arc very well, they go to live at Hampstead on INIonday and will 
remain there a month. George and Mrs. Duff were well when I saw them last, 
which was a few days ago. The Admiral is much better and I am with great 
Truth, Dear Madam, most affectionately yrs. AiiTuuii Duff.' (0.) 

Keith Urquhart to Lord Fife 

' JIy Loud, — I received yours yesterday with the accounts of Poor Lady 
Jean's death. Several circumstances mentioned by your Lordship have very 
sensibly and tenderly affected me — I have to thank you for the melancholy 
trouble you have taken upon the Occasion. I yesterday sent an exjjress to Rothie- 
may to acquaint my Lady Dowager of this event and have delayed informing 
my daughters of it until I shall have her Ladysliip's answer. I must acknowledge 
that I have some doubts of the' Propriety of publishing her Death in the News- 
papers and of my Familys' going into mourning. It will again set the talkative 
tongues of the world agoing and revive a Toj^ie of conversation which seemed to 
have been for several years exhausted. However if your Lordship still continues 
of the same mind I shall most certainly think it my Duty to comply. The delay 
will not be much as the event is known to none in this countrj' except to Mr. Duff 
and Capt. Abercrombie to whom I eonnnunicated it and who both seem to be 
of the same opinion with me. They and all your Lordships relations as well as 
mine will immediately go into mourning. I believe I need hardly ask if Lady 
Jean has made any savings or if she has thought of her children in the disposal 
of such. I much approve of your Lordship's disposal of the few things in the 
House with the exceptions you mention — I intended this summer to have given 
a conuuission to Mr. Mair the Agent to buy watches for each of my daughters. 
Miiy I presume to beg of your Lordship to take that trouble. I will not speak 
of a price nor of the kind of watches as I am sure you will do what is decent 
without being extravagant for my circumstances. I would suggest to sell their 
mothers watch and her few trinkets for what they may bring, and the overplus 

U I 


shall be most thankfully paid to your Lordships order. I wait with some im- 
patience for your answer and have the honour to be, My Lord, Your Lordship's 
much obliged and most obedient humble servant, Kr.rni Uuquiiaiit. (D.) 

'Banff, March '11th, 177G. ' 

The Urquharts of Meldrum of the nineteenth century are descended 
from the brother of Keitli Urquliart. 

George, the fourtli son, was born in 1736, and with his next brother 
Lewis went in charge of a tutor to St. Andrews in 1751. Previous to that 
date, these two were in Edinburgh. William, Lord Braco, writes to Archi- 
bald of Drummuir, April 1747, ' I have been here since the mid. of Nov. 
and must remain here until the end of the month, chiefly on account of 
my two younger sons, who are at the Colleges in this place and whom I do 
not think it convenient to leav.' The tutor, A. Morton, writes in 1753 
that he is ' endeavouring to make George acquire a good hand of write, 
arithmetick, and book keeping and the French tongue, so necessary in 
the way of trade.' So he was apparently designed for a mercantile career, 
but at the age of nineteen was gazetted a cornet in the 10th Regiment of 
Dragoons, and was two years in the Army. In the end of 175G he con- 
tracted a hasty marriage with Frances, granddaughter of General Dalzell, 
and kept it secret for some months. He left the Army and settled in 
London in Burlington Street, as his wife, who brought him some money, 
refused to go to Scotland. ^ It is not known exactly what he did in London, 
but he resided for many years in Clarges Street, and Queen Street, Mayfair, 
and subsequently at Putney (then a very remote country place). His 
brothers James, Lewis, and Arthur all complain of his want of friendliness 
and sociability, but he was a most devoted father. He had four ciiildren : 
James, the eldest, born 1758, unfortunately, a lunatic from birth ; Geougk, 
born 1700 ; Jane, 1705 ; and Fuances, June 20, 1700, in Elgin. His wife 
died in 1778, and after her death and that of his daughters, he returned 
to Scotland and resided at Jlilton Duff, near Elgin, and latterly at the 
S"* College in Elgin, which he purchased in 1708. He took some share 
in j)ublie affairs, and became Convener of the county. lie died in 1818, 
aged eighty-two, and intestate, leaving considerable landed property. 
In 1755 Lord Braco had disponed to his son George the lands of Stralocli ; 
in 1750 the lands of Dunnidccr — this for i)olitical purposes only. 

By his testament-dative, issued by the Court after his death, all his 
lands including Bilbohall {vide infra), went to his second son George. 

The eldest son James is referred to occasionally in the family letters, 

' At least for the first ten years of their married life. 


' George's son returns on Monday to school, and he is to go with him in 
tlie coach,' and in the following lioni his mother : 

Frances Duff to Lady Fife 

'Dec. S\st . . . 

' Dear Madam, — I was honor'd with your Ladyship's favor, and shall take 
as much care of Funny as possible, the giving her brimstone is thought to be 

' The children are well, and they give us many agreable hours, indeed in this 
■place their company makes us very happy, as wc should be often at a loss for 
want of amusements. 

' Denton is very alert, she is here and there, up stairs and down stairs, un- 
fortunately, in the midst of a contest with the cook, she fell and niaim'd her leg, 
which has confined her some days to her bed, she Liiinks that it is a judgment 
on her for the altercation she had with the cook, I am frequently in amaze- 

' Mr. Duff obser\iiig that I am at a loss for subject to write to your Ladyship 
in this retirement, desires me to apologise for his not being a better correspondent, 
I answer that he has so often praetis'd that part of epistolary writing, that he 
can do it inOnitely better than I can. 

' Jem just now read to me, good gods ! how he does read. He is a riddle, 
I hoi)e some sensible man will expound him. 

' Mr. Duff joins with me in desiring our affectionate compliments to all 
friends round your fire side. — I am, with great respect. Dear Madam, Your 
ladyship's Most Dutifull and Obedient Serv: Frances Duff.' (0.) 

This James Duff long remained a mystery, as he was known by the 
following letter (from the grandfather of the present writers to his sister) 
to have been alive in 1828, but the mystery was solved by the discovery 
that he had been placed at a private asylum named Beaufort House, 
North End Road, S.W., under the name of James Thompson. 

' Aui:ui>EKN, 31 Mat) 1828. 

' My dear Bessie,— I have deferred for some time writing, wishing to give 
you the issue of my endeavours to establish myself, as fai' as could be done, in 
the property, intended for me by Lady Jane's late cousin Major George Duff. 
Tiie other ]n-0]Hrlies of which ho died possessed were left to the second son of 
General Duff ai\(i to Mr. Wharton respectively, but owing to the state of the titles 
of the properly of l{ill)oliall which he intended for nie, l)eing incomplete, the 
Disposition in my favour was not made out at the time of his death. Lord Fife, 
however, and the others nearest in succession, have, as far as in their power, 
endeavoured to carry into execution the jNLajor's recorded intentions in my favour. 
But as he left a brother who has been insane from early life and is now towards 



seventy years of age, full possession cannot at present be given, that brother, 
notwilhstanding liis state, being Heir at law, and ste])s arc taken in the mean- 
time to gi\e nie euntrol of the property by ha\ing nie made Curator Bonis. 

' Alexander Fhancis Tayler.' 

Two months after tlie death of George, in July 1S28, a certificate was 
obtained from the surgeon of Beaufort House, Mr. Maule (whose private 
residence was in Piccadilly), who writes thus : 

' I hereby certify that the person designated as Mr. James Thompson and 
alluded to in the accompanying certificates, is in reality James Duff the eldest 
son of the Honourable George Duff of Elgin ; that fifty-seven years ago he was 
placed in the establishment called Beaufort House where he still is, under the 
superintendence and management of my late father, who as an intimate friend 
of the late Hon. George Duff undertook tlie guardianship of his idiot son, that 
as a matter of delicacy and family feeling, or from other motives the origin of 
which I am not acquainted with, he was nominated James Thompson, under 
which name he has ever since been known ; that since the death of my father, 
thirty years ago, I have executed the same ofliee of friendshij) by watching over 
the well-doing and proper treatment of the said James Duff, otherwise Thomp- 
son, and that I ha^■e regularly paid for his support, maintenance and clothing, 
such sums as his late father appropriated and were found sullieient for that 
purpose. Finally, I certify that I saw him a few days ago (June 29), when he 
was still in the same hopeless state of fatuity in which I have seen him for the 
last forty years upwards, that his infirmity is irremediable, and that he is in 
every way incapable of managing the most ordinary affairs. 'Wm. Maule.' 

James died in Beaufort House, March 29, 1832, after nearly sixty years 
residence there, aged seventy-four. 

George, born 17G0, is frequently referred to in the family correspond- 
ence as ' the Ensign.' He was at school at the ' Kensington Gravel Pits,' ^ 
where his uncle Arthur visited him. While at another school, he was sent 
home ill, ' in a raging fever, speechless, delirious with quinsy. All his 
skin came off, and every servant Avho attended him was in some degree 
effected in like manner.' Nowadays little George woidd probably have 
been isolated for scarlet fever. Lady Fife writes of his parting with his 
sister Fan : ' The ensign left me Monday last. He went to Houscday 
(Houscdale) that night. It was a terrible " greeting " - morning here, 
but I hope we will get over his absence.' His uncle James obtained a 
commission for him in the Guards in 1781. He was given to gambling 

' Now Orme Square, Bayswater. The gravel was sold to contractors and laid down on the 
Nevsky Prospect in St. Petersburg. A Russian eagle in stone now adorns the centre of Orme 
Square in commemoration of this fact. 

' Crying. 



mid bad company, as sliown in the following letter from James, second 
Eurl Fife, to liis brother Arthur : 

' l-'cli. \r,th. 

' My deau Arthur, — I have wrote my mind fully to Brother George about 
his Son, to which I refer you, there is an absolute necessity for doing some thing 
directly. I hear that George is going to shojjs and taking up goods in order to 
raise money, that he has taken into Companj' with a Valet du Chamber who is 
out of Place and some Adventurer in Gambling, you nmst see where this must 
end and that directly, I did not say this to his Father as it is so very disagreeable, 
he must not be deceived, and yet one would not like to inform him of more than 
is absolutely neccssarj-, you may easily figur how much pain this gives to me. I 
have fairly offered my Brother my opinion and sent the Stile of letters I think 
necessary for him to write. 

' I am reely quite weary with this horrid weather, worse this day almost than 
ever, I think above they are all mad. Duty to my Mi)ther. — Yours, etc., etc., 

' Fife. 

'After full consideration I think it best to send my letter to George oppcn 
that you may deliver it in a proper time but for God sake delay not for I am in 
terror I cannot describe, for fear of some thing horrid.' (0.) 

On February 10, 1784, Lord Fife writes to his brother George from 
London : 

' Since my letter of the 7th Instant, I have had several conversations with 
your son and have got him to give me a state of the money he owes, but I will not 
answer for the authenticity of it. From the information I have, I find it abso- 
lutely necessary to get him out of this town and for that purpose I have been 
obliged to make application to the commanding officer for leave of absence which 
with great dilOeulty I have obtained for two months. My principal reasons 
for so doing w^ere that applications for the payment of most of the money would 
soon come upon him, particularly the Jeweller the nature of which transaction 
being exposed might bi'ing disagreeable consequences upon himself besides 
injuring him greatly in the opinion of the Regiment ; added to the above, I 
must likewise observe to you that the manner of his living in this place could not 
fail, by his continuing, to involve you much deeper in expense. I have therefore 
advised him to set off immediately for Scotland and himself lay the situation 
of his affairs before you. In this my Dr. Sir I have acted to the best of my 
Judgment for your Interests, You will have time to determine what steps 
are best to be taken as I mentioned in my last, if I can be of the least service in 
fxtriculing you out of this disagri'cable situation or assisting you in getting 
an Exchange for him with some other regiment, I shall be ha])])y in doing 
everything in my ])()wer. As little time as possible should be lost in forming 
some resolution and acquainting me therewith, as it will be impossible to get his 
present leave of absence extended.' (/?.) 


In 1786 it is reported that his conduct was ' better.' lie was jn-omoted 
as Ivicutenant and Captain, April 7, 178t, and cxelianged as CajiLain to 
tlie 58th Foot, y\pril 0, 1785. lie went on lialf-pay in 17'J1, and was then 
transferred to tlic Irish half-pay list. He was mixed up in a disgraceful 
scandal in Ireland in October 1792. ' Henry Arthur Herbert has 
obtained in Ireland a verdict of £15,000 against IMajor Duff of the 38th 
Rcgt: (5Sth) for "criminal conversation" with his wife.' There are allu- 
sions to the case in his uncle's letters, and also in one from Miss Jean Duff.^ 

Jean Duff, Scarborough, to William Rose 

'May 18, 1701. 
' I was sorry to hear of the conduct of Major G. Duff. I fancy from all I 
have heard of him, he has been extremely giddy and thoughtless and has given 
much trouble to his Father in the former part of his life. This affair he has been 
engaged in will in all probability prove a serious business. I am afraid the 
Father will be the greatest sufferer as the consequences must fall upon him, if 
there is damages procured.' (K.) 

James, Lord Fife, to his hrotlier Arthur 

'Innks IhivsE, June 17tli, 17!J(I. 
' Deau Brother, — I wished to have breakfast at Orton this morning, but 
I take it for granted you stacd at Elgin. I am so hanyd with different things 
that I cannot make longer stay here just now, but hope to be able to return soon. 
I freely felt for poor Major Duff, I got the letter I put in your hands just a 
little before. I have writ to him this morning to make him easy, the delay is 
owing to Mr. Herbert's Militia situation. I had a letter on the subject from 
Mr. Chas. Herbert last week ; they arc anxious to bring it to conclusion, so of 
course \vill push it, and poor George Duff has only to be as much at ease as pos- 
sible, with the full assurance of being free of every apprehention of danger from 
any trouble, for that I get quick settled. I realy hope from his letter that he 
will from Youth and a resolute life recover health and strength.' 

After this, little is heard of George. He never married, and died in 1828, 
leaving the bulk of his estates to his first cousin General Alexander Duff's 
second son, George Skene Duff, then a minor, as the elder son James, heir 
to the earldom, was already sufliciently provided for. (According to old 
Scottish custom, his will directs that earth, water and corn from the 
estate, and the clapper of the mill be handed to G. S. Duff as a sign of 
possession.) Some other portions had been previously made over to 
Richard Wharton Duff, another first cousin, and the small estate of Bilbo- 

1 See chapter xxxiv. 

' LITTLE FAN ' 149 

liall, near Elgin, he had intended, as previously seen, to give to the liusband 
of liis cousin Jane, Major Alexander Francis Taylcr. 

' Bilboliall came into the Duff family in 1724, being conveyed to 
William Duff of Braco by John Dunbar. In 1751 Lord Braco conveyed 
the property to his son Alexander, and the latter in 1755, with the consent 
of his father, conveyed it back to Lord Braco in liferent, and to the Hon. 
George Duff in fee. George and his son George both appear to have held 
the property, but no title was made up in their names. Major George, 
the son, died in 1828, having by will disposed of all his properties except 
Bilbohall, which accordingly fell into intestacy, his heir-at-law being his 
brother, Mr. James, who was " fatuous." But owing to the papers con- 
veying this estate to Major Taylcr having been duly prepared although 
not executed, the relatives of Mr. Duff ap])licd for the appointment of 
Major Taylcr as his Curator Bonis, and at the same time granted a deed 
conveying to him all right and title which they, as heirs of Mr. James Duff, 
might have to the I'lstate at his death, and binding themselves to grant 
anj'^ further dcctls which might be necessary for completing the major's 
title.' Four years later, at the death of James, the major's title was made 
absolute, and his son, William James, had a formal conveyance from the 
Earl of Fife, dated 18G3. Bilbohall is now in the possession of the present 
writer, and the facts in connection with it have an. additional interest 
from the circumstance that the Mr. Duff who, in 1912, considered himself 
to have a claim to the Fife title, believed himself to be descended from 
the above Major George Duff, whose name he stated to have been Daniel 
George.^ His own grandfather, whose name was Daniel only, was an 
entirely different person, and will be noted in the proper place. 

George's elder daughter, Jane Dorothea, was chiefly brought up by her 
mother in London, but in 177G was at Rothiemay, as her grandmother 
writes accounts to the parents of her progress under an ' epidemical dis- 
temper,' and in 1780, after her mother's death, she was living at Rothie- 
may, as her father writes to enjoin her to conform in all things to her 
grandmother's directions. She seems afterwards to liave returncil to 
London and kept house for her father. In 1792 her death is recorded 
' while on a journey in the north of England for the recovery of her 
health.' It is not known where she is buried. 

Frances, or ' little Fan,' the youngest child, seems to have been the 
imivcrsal family pet. SIic was brought up at Rothiemay by lier adoring 
grandmother, and constant allusions are made to her in the letters of all 
the family. She seems to have been very delicate, and at one time fell a 

^ Or from a younger brother of George, named Daniel. 


victim to llic scourf;c ol' smallpox, and later would seem also to liavc been 
consiimplivc, while in 1777 she had jaundice. Constant rererenees occur 
to licr small appetite. Her little cousin James, son of the Admiral, had 
been ill, ' but the little fellow is noAV fine and well and sends his love to 
his cousin Fan, with orders for her to eat hot meat ' ; and James's elder 
brother (afterwards Colonel Robert William of Fettcrcsso) is thus alluded 
to : ' Bob sends his love to Fanny, she has his whole heart.' Both 
children were then about nine. 

In 1775 Lady Fife describes how slie and Fan play ' catch jionour ' 
every evening, and how her small companion ' diverts her more than any 
other company.' She was the greatest favourite of her uncle Arthur, who 
sends constant messages to ' Miss Monkey,' to ' Lady Fan,' and to his 
' little wife,' also packs of cards, books, ' provision for her l)irds,' and other 
gifts. At one period he is moved to comjiare her attainments unfavour- 
ably with those of her sister Jane in London. (Jane at this period was 
ten and Fan eight) : 

' Pray make my most respectful compliments to Miss Fanny and inform her 
that she will be much affronted if she docs not give very great attention to her 
new master, as I do assure you she is at present far, nay, partial as I am to her 
I must say, very far, behind her sister, who reads English and French extremely 
well, speaks both languages very easily, writes and counts to ailmiration, and is 
I am told very good at her needle, and as to her carriage it is quite elegant. 
Much would she be ashamed to luivc any occasion for a bridle, and I am in hopes, 
against we meet. Fan will have as little, or she will not be able to hide herself 
in any corner, but I shall find her and send her in a ship to Mrs. Denton's care, 
but if she is a good girll, I will get liberty for her to stay with you and will bring 
her some prcttie things beside.' ^ {0.) 

Affectionate letters to her from all her aunts are to be found, almost 
always inquiring after her health, and there is also an invitation, dated 
1783, from Mary Morison, stepdaughter of her uncle Robert (and future 
wife of the ' Bob ' who had given her ' all his heart ') to jiay a visit at Uaddo. 
She died suddenly at Rothiemay in 1787, at the age of twenty, and was 
buried at Grange, the body being subsequently moved to the mausoleum 
at Duff House. 

' lloTiin:MAV, 0(/i J/r/rc/i 17C7. 
' Dear Sir, — Miss Frances Duff my niece died Here Tuesday last and is to 
be Interred at Grange upon Monday next the 12th inst. 

' The Honor of your Company Here by Eleven of the Clock that day, to 

' In 1779 a servant named Grizel Crow writes to ask for news of ' Miss Fanny, charming 
young creature,' and signs herself, ' The humble handmaid of the good old Countcis." 


attend Ilcr Funeral to the Place of Interment, will confer a singular obligation 
upon, Dear Sir, your most obed' Humble Servant, AuTiiuu Duff. 

' To William Hose, Montcoffer.' {R.) 

From a letter written by Keith Urquhart to his mother-in-law, Lady 
Fife, of approximate date 1785, it appears tliat liis eldest son James had 
fallen in love witli one of the tlaughters of his uncle George, presumably 
Fan, who must have been a most attractive person. Keith Urquhart's 
letter is so characteristic of the tyrannical father of the period that it must 
be given in full : 

' Meldrum, circa 1785. 

' Madam, — As my Son has been twice at llothiemay witliin this short time, 
and for a good while together, your Ladyship and Mr. Duff, I presume, cannot 
be ignorant of his Errand. You arc both likewise so far acquainted with the 
Circumstanecs of my Family as to comprehend thoroughly that any marriage 
which does not bring money along with it, must end in his Destruction, and put 
an End to our Family with Regard to its Station among the landed Gentry of 
this Country. I have always lo\ed my Children, and have ever had it in view 
not only to save, but, if possible, to build up my Famil)'. For this Reason I 
have abstained from rc-AIarriage myself, at a time of Life when many a Man 
would have thought himself well intitled to j)lease his Fancy, and to embrace 
any Condition of Life which he might think would most tend to his satisfaction. 
What Steps I have taken to procure an advantageous marriage for my son, it 
is not now the Time to declare, nor am I altogether at Liberty to do so, yet I 
will go the Length to sa3% that a full Consent was obtained from two of the nearest 
of kin (one of them the Parent) and nothing remained to be done, but that he 
should endeavour to recommend himself to the good opinion of the young Lady. 
That is now over, which is Disappointment enough to me, and though I never 
tliought myself intitled to force a Marriage upon him, yet I think myself jierfectly 
well intitled to put a negative upon any marriage whieli I may judge to be im- 
proper for him. That negative I have put upon the present occassion, and will 
steadily adhere to it, and have little Doubt but that your Ladyship, who are the 
common Parent of both the young Folks, will concur and co-operate with me. 
Give me leave, therefore, to expect, as I believe the AVorld will, that your Lady- 
ship and Mr. Duff will forbid my Son the House of Rothiemay for the present. 
I have let him know roundly what he was to expect at my I lands, have forbid 
him this House and the Prohibition shall not be taken off nnUI lie returns to a 
sound mind. Your Ladysliip knows that by my Contract of Marriage, I can settle 
my I'lslali' ujjon any Sou of ihe marriage. You know that 1 am liic unlimited 
Proprietor of the Estate, insomuch that I can sell it, or I can eonlract Debt 
to the Value of it, and convey the money by Bonds to the Children I may have 
by any subsequent marriage, or to whomsoever I please. My Son was yesterday 
at Ilatton Lodge, from which Place he wrote a long Letter to me, full of crackt 
brained Extravagance, and the most Childish Impertinence. I believe no Father 


bcfoix' ever j'cccivcd u Lctli r in siicli ii Slilc from a Son. I am sorry For llio 
I'aiii wliicli lliis siilijccL iiiiisl, give your JiUilyslii]), ami I have no J)o\il)l. laiL I 
have your Symi^alliy in JlcLurn. I desire to offer my best ISespeetK to Mr. Duff, 
and have the Honour to be, very respectfully, Madam, Your Ladyship's most 
obedient and most humble Servant, Keith Ukquhart. 

' He has exposed his whole story to Dr. and Mrs. Abcrnethie.' (0.) 

The Mr. Duff referred to is Arthur, now retired from Parliament and 
settled at Rothiemay. James Urquhart seems to have submitted to the 
parental decree and subsequently (in 1788) married Miss Forbes,^ but 
had no children, and the estates passed to a cousin. He and his father 
were never on very good terms. Keith Urquhart and his father had 
lived together in the same house for some years without speaking. 

Next to George in the family came Lewis, originally called Ludovic, 
born in 1737. The name occurs in both forms, but that he himself preferred 
the English form is shown by the following note to his brother. Lord Fife, 
when his signature was required for the (proposed) sale of Braco : 

' Kelvkdon, Mar. 18, 1772. 
' My Loud, — I remit the paper signed, agreeable to the Directions received 
— I have always signed Lewis, In the paper I am designed Ludovick. I liavc 
adhered to my usual subscription, thinking there might be an Impropriety in 
deviating from the established custom. I suppose this difference of Signature 
can be of no material consequence, as they are confessedly the same name. 
Mrs. Duff joins in affect. Respect. — I am, my Lord, Your affect. Brotlicr and 
obedient Servant, Lewis Duff.' * 

Lady Fife records that George, Lewis, and Helen all had ' the good kind 
of pox ' together. Whether this refers to chicken-pox or to a mild attack 
of smallpox, is not explained. Lewis was educated with George until 
1754, when he presumably showed greater aptitude for learning, and was 
sent from St. Andrews first to Leydcn and then to St. John's College, 
Cambridge, where he is enlercd as ' the Hon. Lewis Duff, born in Banff, 

His elder brother Alexander writes shortly afterwards that ' Lewis' 
studies goe on but slowly, and the company he keeps is none of the best,' 
There is no record of what line of study he pursued, nor of his success or 

' Miss Forbes, daughter of William Forbes of Skellater and Balbithan, niece of Mrs. 
Abernethy, wife of Dr. Abernethy, a physician in Banff. It was in honour of this lady that 
Isaac Cooper wrote his famous melody, ' Miss Forbes' Farewell to Banff.' 

' Lyon Office. That he was wrong in so signing, his baptismal certificate proves. ' On 
June 13, 1737, Ludovick, fifth son of William, Lord Bracco, was born and baptized and so 
named after Ludovick, Laird of Grant and Major Lewis Grant' {Banff Registers). 


ollitTwisc in tlio schools, hiil, il" lio wore dcslincd Tor .1 Icnrncd career soine 
oilier iii(Iiiet\cc would seem l.o iiavc sle|)[)ed in, and in 1757 lie a.|)|)ears as 
a Cornet in the 1st Royal Dragoons. In 1702 he was transl'erred us Captain 
to the Sth Regiment, and in that he remained, serving in Germany in 17(;7, 
and in America 1775, and retiring in 1777. He seems to have been blessed 
with fair health, but an incurably melancholy disposition. Even Iroin 
Cambridge, in writing to his mother for money, he complains that the 
climate does not suit him, and that everything is against him. After 
entering the Army his grumbles are perpetual, as to how hard it is to live 
on his pay, the small chances of promotion to one without great interest, 
the uncertainty of a soldier's life, and the frequent clianges of abode. He 
seems to have been stationed in various parts of Essex for some timCt, and 
in 1707 he married Deborah, daughter of Cirillith Davies of Harwich. She 
ilocs not appear to have brought him any fortune, but I'or nearly thirty 
years she was a devoted wife, ])utting up with his misanthropic humours. 
She writes to his parents at frequent intervals : 

Deborah Buff, uufc of the Hon. Lcivis Duff, to Lord Fife 

'Quebec, August 2th, 1770. 

' My Lord, — At this time of year we have frequent opportunities of sending 
letters to England which makes me be rather a troublesome eorrispondent to 
you but as you have often expressd a desire of hering from us induces me to write 
often to inquire how your Lordship and Lady Fife is. I hope both well, and 
likewise hope next sunnner to find you so on our return home. A great many 
people goes from this in a day or two. Amongst which is Col. Carlton, Mr. 
Obrian and Lady Susan, a luunber more but those arc unknown to your Lord- 
ship so it would be needless to mention them. This country at this season is 
very pleasant but the weather by far too hot in the day for which the evening 
rewards us by being delightfully cool and you may walk very late by moonlight 
and not be a sufferer by the dew which in great Britain falls after sunset and is 
very dangerous ; but here I have never felt the least dampness in the air at that 
time and have often wished your Lordship was here for a week to enjoy the sweet 
rural rides through the most romantic agreeable woods that can be imagined, as 
I am sure you, for that time, would like this country. Longer then that might 
tire you. 

' I siip|)ose your I,(>i(lsiiii) is now enjoying yourself in the sweet walks ;it 
Duff Ilonse,it was a most heautifnll sj)(>twiien I was there, Ijnt the iinproveineiils 
you are always making must have rendend it still more so. The G'Zwd Regiiiu iit 
are all here but W. Gordon is not yet come, having got the Major's leave to go 
and see a. little of the nppir Country and does not return lill November. W\- 
have made every incpiiry and find he turns out very well and is nuieh liktd, hy 
the best part of the Ollieers. I Iiope .soon lo be favord with a letter from your 



I.ordsliij) ill which I Impo lo here <;(>()(l news (if :ill my fiiciids h(';illli. l\Iy 
l)i;irisl. frit'iid joyiis in wishini^' your Lordslii]) and l-ndy Kifc every Iiappiness 
and 1 iviuain, My Lord, vour Loi'dships niosl <)l)hL!eil Humble Si'rvanl, 

' I). Di'ii-.' (/).) 

To Ills mother rroin Ilarwicli : ' Do try to i^ersuade liim to come to 
you as soon as our time is out here. His hcaltli is better, and I am sure 
if once he could get tlie better ol' liis wliiins, tliat the journey woidd make 
liim still better.' And later, from Scotland : ' The Major is not so well 
nor so contented as I could wish, but I hope time will make him so.' 
They had no children. 

Nine years after his marriage, Lewis left tlie Army, apparently entirely 
by his own wish, because he saw no chance of advancing bcj'ond the rank 
of IMajor,' and was moreover unwilling to go a second time to America. 
l}ut no sooner was the step accomplished than he began to regret it, took 
various imavailing measures to recall it, ami lamented it for the rest of 
Iiis life. Seemingly, had he not retired just at that juncture, he might have 
had the chance of commanding his regiment, and the brothers on hearing 
of this unanimoush' exclaim that they are ' sorry for his wife.' ' The 
Lt. -Colonel of I<ewis' regiment is dead, and promotion open without 
purchase. What an unfortunate man he will be ' (December 20, 177G). 
A year later Arthur writes, in December 1777 : ' I had a letter from I,ewis 
last night. He seems, poor man, still in very low spirits and rcj^ines at 
being I'orccd out of the Army. Had he continued he must have been this 
day still more unha])py, as lie would have been a jirisoncr with Burgoyne. 
If indeed he had survived the fatigues of the campaign.' So sure was 
his family that in whatever situation Lewis foTind himself, it would be 
matter of complaint. About this time, Deborah writes again : ' My dear 
Major has been a good while and greatly distressed with his bilious com- 
plaint. My stomach much about the same. Both I fear are too deep- 
rooted ever to be cured, jjatience is the only doctor.' 

And later to her niotlicr-in-law : 

' Hr.r.nviK, Foiini:s, 27'/' •i^'''-"- 177<J. 

' My deat: M.vDsr., — Most sincerely do I wish tliat this ktler may find you 
and all friends in that good health that the major and I so ardently hopes will 

' He wrote to his brother on the occasion : 

'FonRi;s, Septr. i^lli, 1776. 

' Major Duff presents liis coniphmenls to Lord Fife. He takes the Liberty of informing 
his T.orilshi]) that He is oblifjeil to iiiiit Uic army, that notwithslaiuhng his very severe Service 
he ha,s met with iietiiliar ill iis.age, inch^^nity aiul oppression (o which as he ha.l no interest lo 
support him he has been forced to submit. The Major returns Thanks to his Brother for his 
generous Protection and kind countenance from his first entering into his Profession to the 
present Pcrioil when every object of anil)i(ion is tcrminaled." 

DEI 501J Airs J.ETTERS 1 5", 

(■\<i- altoiid j'ini all. 'i'liis siason of tlic ycai' is ;;(iirially observed by all ranks 
and degrees of peoj)le aiul employed by social iiieeLinys of friends anil IJclalions 
t()<;elher llic litne passes in scenes of Mirth and Jollity. Give me leave my 
Dear Mad™ to express My Wish that you may injoy a Merry Cheerfull X'timcs 
and many returns. The Major and mc rec*^ a great shock from tlic Accounts 
of i)oor Billy Gordons Dcatli tlio the manner of it was no more then from the 
nature of his melancholy complaint might have been dailly expected yet when 
Accidents Like that hajipens the sliock must be great to all Friends concerned. 
I should think if sir John has any feelings of nature about him he must upon 
the present occasion be miserable. I hojje it may have a good effect and bring 
him to some sense and consideration. lie has lost a good friend and a truly 
affectionate Brother, it is not a month ago since poor AVilliam sent an ex])ress 
from Bothiem;iy to the IMajor for £30 to make up the sum wanted to senil sir 
Johi\ out of I he country, expressing at the same lime his regret at not biing able 
to give it himself. Poor Lad, I fear lie gave too much. Do not, My Dear Mad'", 
let his Death hmt your Sjjirits, he is at rest and no doubt happy. While hv. was 
alive he was in constant danger and his friends in constant terror. 

' I have not seen any of the Brodie family since I wrote last, having been 
confined with a swelled face and tooth ach, but hear Ladj' M. is much as usual 
Hrodie line and liearly. I will go as soon us I am able after which I will acquaint 
you liow I lind things. i\Ir. and I\Irs. Cummingwith some more Acquaintance 
Passed the X'mas day here they arc both well. The new years day W'c are to 
be at Altyr with the same party. The Delvcy family and Altyr are at present 
quite out. The wheel of time will turn them in again. They each think them- 
selves in the right and I think them both in the wrong, for so few neighbours as 
we have here about it is nonsense to quarrell. I beg my kindest good wishes 
to My. Wharton Lady S: I'aimy and little Arthur,i being ever D^ Mad™ with sin- 
cere respect, Your most Affect, and obed*, D. Dl'1'1".' (0.) 

After Iiis retirement, Lewis and Iiis wife lived lor some time in Craven 
Street, and tlie three yoimger brothers suw a good deal of one unotlier in 
London. Subsequently he adjourned to the small property left him by 
his father, Blcrvie, near Forres, and built a mansion-house tlicre. 

"J'he estate of Blervii', situated 2.^ miles S.-K. of Forres, was piu'chased 
by William, Earl of Fife, in 172-f, from vVlex. Macintosh, his brollier-in-law. 
The lion. IMajor Lewis Duff, quitting the ancient eastled scat of the Dunbars 
on the summit of the Jiiil, built a handsome modern seat, snugly slieltered.' 
The estate was later in the possession of the (irant Duffs of Eden and Ainslie 
Douglas Ainslie, who sold it to Captain Galloway. 

According to Lewis' own and Deborah's letters, never had man been so 
deceived or ill served by workmen. Deborah writes : ' The nicest part of 
the house is now " going ubout," and if the workmen arc not watched 



iianowly llicy will <!<» nolliiiij^ aii^'liL' ' Tlu'V s('r\(<l us ill wilh liiiil)iT 
lor I In: roofs.' 

And wIr'ii once tlicy wciv sfUkd in llicirown lioiisi', ncvci' was ncigli- 
bourliood so vniwliolosonie or so dull. Ik- writes to his mother of liis 
tout liaelie as if it were a national calamity, and seems imecrtain whether he 
is more injured by attentions or by neglect from the despised neighbours. 
Even liis sister Margaret at Brodie he seldom saw, as he was not on friendly- 
terms with her liusband, and declined a visit to Ilatton and anollier to 
Rothiemay, owing to some fancied slight in the manner of conveying the 
invitations. After Deborah's death in 1796 he did not live nmeh at 
Blervie, but took up his residence at No. 13 Margate, ^ from whence lie 
writes : ' Health is now my sole speculation. I pass my time very 
agreeably with reading, walking, and conversation.' 

He writes to his brother-in-law, Thomas Wharton : 

'13 Margate, Jiihi 1, 1798. 

' Dear Sin, — AUIio' there is nothing in this Place, lluiL can possibly interest 
or amuse yuu, yet I tliink it my Duty to inquire after you. Lady S. and Family — 
and it will make me very hajipy to learn tliat evejy thing is in the State I wish. 
I am settled in the comfortable House where I lodged last year. Our Society 
is small but select. There is an ease and tran(iuillity which is pleasing to one 
long satiated with the Bustle, Dissipation and Folly of the AVorld. It is indeed 
a perfect Contrast to the Scenes passing around which are in a stile of Whim 
and Eccentricity beyond Description. We have a very sensible, agreeable old 
Lady who dines occasionally with us, she is a Sister of the celebrated \V'ilks, 
she has seen a Variety of Life, is full of anecdote and makes proper and just 
()bservatii)ns on every subject tiiat occurs in the course of Conversation. She 
is indeed a Character, but there is a general Humanity and Pliilanthropy which 
throws a pleasant Vail over her Peculiarities. Nothing so forcibly evinces lier 
oddness, allho' she has taken a large house, with a full establishment of Servants, 
who live in the greatest luxury, yet she dines with us every Day in order to enjoy 
a Dish of Chat without Ceremony. I left the young Cimsul Brodie ^ in Town, 
He is entirely out of emijloyment, which at his period (jf life is rather awkward 
and dangtnnis. He seems prudent and rational. I hope by the aid of his LTnele 
the Nalxil), He may sirike out some Line in India, which will be a more brilliant 
speculation than a retmn to Spain. I have tliouglits of remaining here till 
October. 1 contrive to pass my Time tolerably in Reailing, Walking, tea 
Parties, Excursions to the different Villages in the Vicinity which are jieculiarly 
beautifid and pietunsque. As to the Diversions of Ihe j)lacc I am a mere 
Spectator. It will give me great Pleasure to hear from yon. A letter will (ind 
me at No. l.'i I\hirgate. I beg my best ^Vish(.•s and remain with real Ueganl 
your affect. Ll'.wis Dui'l'.' (0.) 

' It is iuLcrcsting to note that at that pciioil tliis aildress was suOiciout. 
* His nephew, WiUiam Bioihc. 


llr. lived to llic -.[t^c ol' seven l.y- low f, dyiiif^ in Cniven Slicel, F/ondon, 
in llie s;inu: ye;u' as liis Ijrol.liir yMexander, ISll, and is Wuried under llie 
nionimiciit at. Bk rvie wliieli lie had eieeted to his wile. Portraits ol' George 
w ith his lather and Lewis with his mother exist at Uothieniay House, both 
by I\Iossnuin. In the ])encil miniatures on ehickcn skin, now in the pos- 
session of j\lrs. Chancellor, \A'oodhall, Jimipcr (Jrcen (great-j^randdaiightcr 
ol' Lady Sophia), Lewis apjjcars as a rather de])i'essed little boy. The six 
other portraits, which arc all that remain, ai'c ol' both parents ; of Anne and 
Janet, very charminrf and almost exactly alike; Alexander, very solemn ; 
and Arthur, the universal favourite, with his sweet smile. 

The ninth child and sixth son was Patrick, born and died 1738. 

The tenth child and fourth daughter of this large fatnily was IIklen, 
born in 1739, and married in 1701 to lier father's lirst cousin. Admiral 
Robert Duff. Iler history and that of lier children properly belong to 
the family of Fctteresso, and will be found in that chapter. She died 
in 1778. 

The eleventh child and hftli daughter was Sophia, born 1710, during 
the trying winter when her two eldest sisters were lying dangerously ill 
two hundred miles from home, and the patient mother was complimented 
upon her calnmcss. She was thirty-four when, July 13, 177f, she became 
the third wife of Thomas Wharton, Commissioner of Excise, a man five 
years her senior, with three sons. They resided chiefly at Lauriston, 
near Edinburgh, and four sons and three daughters were born to her. Of 
the hrst, her mother writes to Arthur, November 19, 1770 : ' So})hia has 
brought Mr. Wharton a charming stout boy. You would be diverted to 
see the Commissioner gazing so fondly on the boy, as he had had never a 
(•hild before.' Mr. Wharton suffcrctl at times from jiainful ilhiesscs which 
sound remarkably like attacks of gout, during which ' neither sick nurse, 
servant nor wife can please him, and poor Sophia is almost worn to a 
sliadow.' ' IVIr. W'harton has so many whims of his own, without consider- 
ing Sophia.' She lived lilt 182(!, dying at the age of eighty-six. This 
i'amily will apjjcar again under the heading of Orton. 

Of Catiieuini:, twelfth child and sixth daughter, very litlle is known. 
She was the only unmarried daughter, and thei'e is but one letter of hers 
among the family MSS. : 

Lady Catherine Duff to Earl Fife 

'Knk., April the 2, 1705. 
' My dear Loud, — I wrote you a very long letter which should have gone 
by Mr. Dunbar and after keeping it a few days it shared the same fate of many 


of my oilier Icllirs Id yoii liulli dime, I lie ll.iiiics ; llu' liiiiiinlil nf v"'"' nol 
coMiitifj tlowii lliis siimiiKi' ^liivcs Mij,' imd iin: iiiiicli, l)iil. Ilicic is iiolliiipjj; hiil. 
(lisuppoiiilniL'iits in lliis life, llusc * cuiiic here a few ihiys ii^^o iiiui callecl fur us, 
Iiejipear'd to l)ciii low spirits and told us he was afraid you would not couic; North 
hut lor a nioulh or I wo. I l)i;>iiu' lo think you in earnest and I am nuicli sunk 
hy it. I had a letter from Lady Fife whieh both grieved and surprise<l me. I 
Avrote Lady Fife an answer whieh I am afiaid she would scarce read ; I have a 
good deal of little chat to write but will not trouble you as I shall write Lady 
Fife to-morrow. We are to go from this in three weeks the highland road. 
Lewes left us some weeks ago and Arthur is to go this. I have never heard of 
Sandy since we seed him at Aberdeen. We are at present a very grave family. 
My love and best wishes attend you and Lady Fife and in very low spirits I 
ever am, My Dear Lord, your very affcctionct friend and obliged humble Servant, 

' Catii. Duff.' (D.) 

It is probable that she scarcely ever left her mother and her home. 
She was born in 17U, and died in Edinburgh in 17G5, aged twenty-four. 
A portrait of her exists at Montcoffer House, 13anff. The only mention 
of her in the family correspondence is in a letter from the luisljand of licr 
sister Anne (her eliler by sixteen years), with whom ajijjurently two of the 
children (Catherine and Arthur) were sj)ending a winter in 1752. Alexander 
Uid'f of flatten, husband of Anne, writes to his father-in-law : ' The young 
folk witli me are in very good liealtli and applying very close, Arthur in 
particular (aged nine). If I had been at home T would have sent you a 
sample of Arthur and Katty's (aged eleven) writes. They expect they will 
be remembered in some playthings about the Christmas time.' 

After the birth of three daughters in succession, it may be supposed tliat 
Lord Braco, now getting on for fifty, nuist have welcomed with joy tiie 
arrival of his youngest son AitTiiuu in 17K). At all events, from the moment 
of his birth and throughout his life, Artlnu- was every one's favourite, and 
must have had an exceptionally sweet nature not to have been s[)oilt by 
so much ])etting and praise. All the letters of AVilliam, Lortl IJraco, 
lo his wile contain c:onstant references to 'my Attie ' anil 'my little 
hul,' wjio seems to have been a ]ierj)ctual source of joy. His early 
etlueation is not mentionetl, excejit during the winter of 17.'52, wliich he 
spent at Ilatton, but at the age of fifteen he went, like his brothers, to 
St. Andrews University, and subsequently to Glasgow University. Later, 
his name is found among the I'^nglish-speaking students at Leydcn, 17G9, 
' Arthur Duff, Scoto-Britannicus,' and he subsequently became an advocate. 
He was very tender-hearted, and writes to his mother from college : ' For- 
give me for not coming to bid you adieu, as 1 have an utter aversion to 

?! >' 

JiJiT fio yismi 


tlicsc formalities at any time, more especially in such a distressed time as 
wlien 1 left Rolliieniny.' It was apparently (liirin<>- his father's last illness. 
In 177t lie was elected ineniher for Morayshire, his brother's interest heiiij,' 
strong' in that county, as well as in HanlTshire. The number of electors 
in those days was very small, and an eleelion was frecpiently swayed by 
one |)erson. 

There is a curious schedule of the proposed procedure in the IMiehaehnas 
Head Court at Elgin, October 2, 1772, ' upon Supposition that I.ord Fife's 
]mrty has the Majority.' 'The "Prcces " and Clerk, Mr. Arthur Duff and 
Patrick Copland being chosen, the meeting is to proceed to consider the 
objection lodged against those standing in the roll in the following order : 
(1) Sir Lud. Grant ; (2) Ca])t. Thos. Uundas ; (3) Mr. Tulloch of Tannachie ; 
(•i) Lord Fife. The next stej) is to take up the claims of the following 
Gentlemen who are to be admitted to the Roll in the following order : 

(1) Lord Fife ; (2) Mr. Patt. Duff, minister of Old Aberdeen ; (3) Lachlan 
Duff, W.S. ; (4) Lt. A. Stuart of Parkbeg ; (5) William Duff of Corsindae ; 
(0) Capt. John Urquliart. 

' These claims being separately read and admitted, the following eleven 
claims arc to be taken uj) (here follows a list of persons not Duffs, nor in 
any way connected with the family). But if it shall, in point of time, be 
found that it will be three of the Clock before the claimants formerly 
mentioned can be taken, the eleven claims immediately above mentioned 
are to be rejected before the other claimants are admitted. 

' Then the following claims to be taken up : (1) A. Stuart of Edinglassie ; 

(2) Dr. Chas. McLitosh ; (3) A. Donaldson of Kinnairdy ; (4) Adam Duff 
in Aberdeen, merchant ; (5) Dr. Arthur Duff, Corsindae ; (6) Governor 
(irant ; (7) James Grant, Corriemonie ; (8) L. Grant, W.S.' 

When it is remembered that Lord Fife's mother was a Grant, that 
two of his aunts had married respectively Donaldson and Mcintosh, while 
Urquhart and Tulloch were also related to him, it seems probable that he 
would have a majority in the electorate of seventy-seven persons, which 
is the munber of electors of Morayshire given in the Palilical Slale of 
Scolland, 1778.1 

Arthur Duff of Orton writes to his brother James about his candi- 
dature : 

' RoTiiiKMAV, 'SJlh August. 

' My Lord, — As Lewis lias no thoughts of standing as Candidate at the next 
Gen''! Election fur Murray and as (korgc, fnini any lliiiig I liave heard, will 

' ()iiA|iiil in, 1773, Adminil liolu'it wrilos lo T.iinl Fife to (.'onj^raliil.ilc liim on ' liaviii^;, at 
a lalu polilicat galliciin.L;, ilcrcalfil Uic coinliiiialinii of (iorilons, Graiils, and Cartlcns, wiUi all 
tlicir following. Truly ti gioaL vicluiy.' 

ICO CTnLnRi<.N OF Tino FIRST i:arl fife 

(,;i.k(' no ciinccrn for Iiiinscir, if yonr I/ip. ;i.|)prov('S I sliiill ho very willinj^ to try 
my I'^iil.c iiH'aiiiNt Uic Common Kncmy, iiiori: tspcciiilly as 1 liiivc rciisoii to lliink 
it. wo\il(l ))c ;if;ri':i.bli' Lo Lady l"'ifc, Lewis aiul oilier freiiids aL lliis place, aL Uie 
same lime if your Loj). lias other views I shall not he niueli disappointed, remain- 
in;,' willi rc^unl, yonr a ffecl . Ih'ol lur and \ery llnnih. Sc r\ ', A.J).' (0.) 

Arthur's election was :i matter of cfrcut rejoieinp; lo all his family, and 
from 1774 bc<j;ins that charming scries of letters to his mother of which 
several of her descendants kept portions, and wliich reveal to us his most 
attractive personality. lie seems to have resided in London even before 
he became a Member of Parliament, for he writes to his mother from .Suffolk 
Street in 1772, ' Yesterday \vc were blessed with the first good news we 
have of a long time got to comfort us for the many misfortunes we have 
met with. Governor Grant in conjunction with Admiral Barrington, 
liave taken the French Island of St. Lucia. D'Estaing landed and 
attempted to retake it, but was beat off with the loss of IGOO men killed, 
wounded, and Prisoners. Upon oiu" part there was about 30 killed, and 100 
wounded, among the latter General Meadows.' Some of the letters are 
very short, mere notes, but lie seems unwilling to let more than two days 
go by without sending something, and he and his mother at times reproach 
one another for slackness in Avriting with a great deal of humour and 
tenderness. A postscript to one of her letters says, ' Lady Fife has writ 
to Mr. Arthur Duff Monday, Tuesday and Thursday of this week,' and in 
1779 he can say, ' I have never missed one post in writing to your Layji. 
since I came from Scotland.' On December 'J,3, ]77.'5, ' \\'e adjourned 
to-day for the holidays — until January 25, and indeed I do not know whei\ 
at school I felt more joy at getting the Play.' The weather, however, 
became so severe that he was unable to leave I-ondon even to get as far 
as Hath. It seems lo havt' been a rei-ord winter liolh in I'lngland anti 

Two days later lie writes : ' Quebec has ))een relieved, but ISIontreal 
must I fear surrender to the rebels'; aufl in .Tanuary 177G following: 'The 
rebels have taken the island of St. John's -^Iht- loss will be IVlt by our army 
in Hoston, as I'roni that quarter they derived much of their fresh provisions.' 
In the same winter he expects ' some fun from AVilkes, Hopkins and the 
Liberty boys in tlic streets.' 

On January 23 he writes : ' Wc ought to meet on Thursday first, but 
as the roads arc in many parts impervious, I dare say there will be another 
adjournment for want of members, for whieli I am very sorry.' (The thaw 
came in February.) On one occasion he tells her that he has met with an 
accident on the ice and has scarred his face, which prevents him ' from 
going abroad for sonic days.' She replies in great anxiety lest his appear- 


ancc sliould be spoiled, but cli<aractcristieally adds, ' But you will aye be 
bonnic cnouf^Ii to tiicm that love yoTi.' lie inquires pcri^ctually for lier 
licaltli and sends careful directions as to her diet, (exercise, and <rencral 
mode of life. In 1775 he says he has been made very happy by hearing 
from Mr. Stronach that she was looking so well, ' she might pass for forty ' 
(she being then seventy). At one time he seems to have been haunted 
by unreasoning fears as to her being ill, but chides himself by saying, 
' Thank God, although as a seventh son I may be born a doctor, I have not 
got the second sight, with all my Highland blood.' In 1781 he writes that 
he is glad she has not gone to Banff, i.e. DulT House, from Rothiemay. 
' I dread your changing your bed.' In 1777 she writes to him : ' My 
dearest Arthur, take care of yourself and want for nothing that can give 
you pleasure, since if you ai'c well nothing can come amiss to me, being 
unalterably your very affectionate mother, — J. Fife.' And again, in answer 
to some tender reiaroach : ' I never meant an unkind thing to you all my 
days.' (0.) 

Hon. Arthur Duff to his mother 

'Suffolk Street, lOth Feb. 1770. 

' My dearest Madam, — I did not expect when I concluded my Letter to 
Mr. Wharton, that I should have been able to write your Lap. by this Post, 
as I expected a very late night in the House. However Tis waiting us To-morrow 
or next week, for this Day we had only Four Hours. I had it fmm pretty good 
authority this Day in the House that Government has now got certain Informa- 
tion of the Treaty betwixt France and America which will probably be productive 
of a French War ; and a Change in administration Tis said would be the conse- 
quence. I have so good an opinion of Lord North's Integrity that I should 
most sincerely regret his Loss. But I will not allow myself to believe it, altho 
I confess my Spirits are a few Pegs down upon the occasion. I need not Caution 
your Lap. not to mention me as the author of any news of this kind to others 
than my Sister and Mr. Wharton. I luivc this Day the j)leasure of a letter from 
The admiral,^ whieli I euelosi' for your Ladysliip's Satisfaction, I ^vrot^; him a 
Long Letter by the Last Packet and made all your Compliments which I knew 
I might with great Safety without a mandate take upon me to deliver. We are 
now beginning to feel Winter when wc had reason to expect Spring ; since 
Sunday a great deal of Snow has fallen, and in the Country I dare say it is pretty 
deep, but have not, since that Day, been further than betwixt this St. and the 
House of Commons, and as I begin to feel the want of Exercise am determined 
to pay a visit to-morrow forenoon to Kensington Gardens. Your Lap. says you 
Iiope I attended Service upon the 30t]i Jan>'.^ I confess I did not neither am I 

* Robert of Logic. ' Anniversary of the death of Charles I. 



I)y priiu:ii)lc u f^TcuL udiiiiicror Lliut Duy.s Ceremony, ImiL Ukii^ is none of Lhc Two 
llinuli'ed unci 50 Members u more Coii.sLanL AtLender upon I'ruyeis wliieli once 
11 week is equal to one ol the honest Parsons longest Sermons. You never siiy 
whether you go regularly out in the Chaise. I am sure you arc much to blame 
if you neglect it ; Tis really impossible you can take in this Weather the neces- 
sary Exercise to make the Blood circulate ou foot. — Believe nie ever most 
sincerely. My Dearest Madam, Your most affectionate and Dutiful Son, etc., 
etc., AiiTiiLJR Duff.' (0.) 

The same to the same 

'Suffolk Stbeet, 1C//i Jan. 1779. 
' My dearest Madam,- — I aj^prchend as I have not had a letter from your 
LadyshijD since Monday, that the Snow in Scotland has considerably enereased, 
and indeed we had this morning a smart shower, but it has gone off, and did not 
prevent me from taldng a round of Kensington Gardens, which I do almost every 
Day, and find the good effects of it at Four o'Clock, but 1 believe I must dis- 
continue the Practice after Tuesday, as late nights are expected, and I would 
not be able to hold out without a dinner, which now the Coffee House is burnt 
down, could not easily be obtained consistent with attendance — ]Mortimer 
writes me the Gardener feeds the Partridges, I wish you would desire Him to 
count them and let me know their number, which should I think be pretty con- 
siderable, as I only killed Eleven last Season, I wish you would desire Him to lay 
some Corn about the Manoch Hill, as it will draw those at a distance into the 
Park, and tis there I wish them to breed next year as the Grass below it will 
be the last out. . . . Mr. Leslie had a letter from the Admiral this week,i He 
and the Children continue in good Health, I understand His Prize Money amounts 
to several Thousands. I have nothing more to add this Post, but best wishes 
to my Brother, Mrs. Duff and Fanny, remaining always Most affectionately, etc., 

' A. D.' (0.) 

He seems to have taken his duties very seriously, as he frequently 
alludes to the long sittings and late nights, also to his long walks in scarcli 
of fresh air, and when on one occasion lie took out his kinsman, Lachlan 
Duff, and was obliged to leave him, he wondered if he would ever find his 
way home again. He lived in Suffolk Street, apparently in rooms, and 
had with him a manservant from Rothicmay who had a ' sleeping place 
under the stairs, witliout a fire or a window,' and when the unfortunate 
youth fell ill, 1777, of a ' putrid fever,' jn-csumably typhus, some surprise 
is expressed by his master that the ' people of the house ' insisted upon his 
removal for fear of infection, but ' no doubt he will get better air and 
attendance elsewhere.' Lady Fife is, of course, in an agony of ajjpre- 

' Lady Helen had recently died. 


lu'Msion lest lier (larliii<T should catch the infection, but this apparently 
was iivoiikd. 

Ife sends her IVequent eoinnicnts on the news of the day, the progress 
of the American A\'ar and Lord North's attempts to govern the country, 
and the intractability of the opposition. In December 1778 : ' The 
present minority would be in every sense contemptible, but that their 
abandoned principles rouses other emotions; many of them do not scruple 
to avow that they wish to sec the country a province to France to mark 
the imbecility of the present Administration and make the Nation repent 
when too late that they had not been called into Power. From such 
joatriots. Good Lord, deliver us 1 ' 

In April 1777 he tells his mother, ' We have now paid his Majesty's 
debts, at the expense of a very severe cold to your humble servant, for I 
could get no carriage home this morning when I left the House.' ' The 
weather of London would kill the Devil could we get him here.' 

' A late night at the House — I did not dine till between 12 and 1 at night. 
Fine hours for a poor farmer ! ' lie also sends her notes of matters literary 
and dramatic. ' "When j\Irs. Siddons performs the whole town crowds and 
with good reason, for she is a most capital pcrformei-, greater by much 
than any I have ever seen, not excepting Garrick.' He frequently sends 
her plays to read and daily or weekly newspapers. She has to confess that 
she does not read much. Doubtless she was too notable a housekeeper, 
and also was much occupied with the care of the various married daughters 
who lived in the neighbourhood, and of the grandchildren consigned to 
lier care. 

Arthur is consulted in all family difficulties and is applied to for news of 
his brothers, George and Lewis, both poor correspondents. In January 
1779 lie writes : ' I have not seen George this some days, but we have been 
taken for other several times since we met. A lady the other day inquired 
at me after Mrs. Duff, and my children and if they were yet gone to school, 
and an old friend of mine made up to him at the Smyrna and by that 
means found me out here.' In the same letter, ' When next I goe to the 
city I Avill buy Miss IMonkcy a jn-ctty ])ack of cards.' 

When George had an accident and broke his leg, he removed to Putney 
and then to Hanwcll Heath for the sake of his health ; Arthur complains 
of its being too far for a morning's call, and moreover a fifteen shillings 
coach hire. 

When Arthur at length retired from Parliament, on being appointed 
Comptroller of Excise in Scotland, April 4, 1770, his resignation' Avas 
placed in the hands of his brother. Lord Fife, that the scat might be 
instantly filled by another member of his lordship's clan or circle of friends, 


and tluis llic balance of parties might l)c preserved. Arthur then went 
to live at Ilotliienuiy witii his niothci-, unLil lier dealli, siihseqiicntiy divid- 
inrr his time between that and liis own estate of Orion in Morayshire. He 
never married. Tiie following letter Avas written a few months before 
his death, wliicli oeeurred at Orton on June 2, 1805. He is buried in the 
mausoleum at Duff House. 

Atiliur Diijf of Oiion to Lord Fife 

'OiiTON, lOM Jany. 1805. 

' My Loud, — I hoped to have been able as usual to have addressed your 
Lop. with the compliments of the Season ; but tlicse days were long past before 
I had the ability. My usual Xmas Party was so obliging as eonic here but I 
was obliged to name a Landlord and go to bed after drinking the Health of the 
Company in a single glass of Madeira nor have I yet exceeded Three or tasted 
Port but a single glass to success to my Fishing Bargain. ... I have now 
had a very tedious confinement not being once over the door since the 6th of 
December : I have however never lost hope nor spirits. 

' With every good wish to your Lordship I remain, with great truth and 
regard, Your Lordships very affectionate Brother and much obliged Humble 
Servt., Arthue Duff.' [D.) 

There is a charming portrait of him in the possession of Mrs. Chancellor. 

George Duff, Elgin, to Lord Fife 

' Elgin, \2tli Jane 1805. 
' My Lord, — I had the honor of your letter of the lOlh of this montli by 
yesterday's post which gave me great pleasure to hear that you had arrived safe 
and in good health at Duff House : I have not been well for sometime or would 
have attended the funeral on Tuesday. Arthur's death has hurt me much, in 
him I lost not only a Brother but a sincere and affectionate friend. This has 
been a very disagreeable year to me, God grant that it may end better : wishing 
your Lordship Health and all happiness, I always with great regard, l\Iy Lord, 
Your affectionate Brother, Geo. Duff.' (D.) 

The youngest daughter. Lady Margaret, born in 1745, when her mother 
was forty, seems to have been the most unlucky of the Avhole family. 
At twenty-two, in 17G7, she made a runaway matcli with Brodie of Brodie, 
but was unha])py in lier married life, and suffered from constant ill-health. 
In 1773 her motlier writes, ' Margaret's days will not be long.' Her name 
never occurs in the family letters except in connection with some tro\d)Ic 
or other. At the time of her marriage her brother. Lord Fife, writes witii 
a curious air of detachment : ' I am informed Mr. Brodie and Lady Mar- 



B,/ Ccorm- Wnson 



parct have stole a marriaf^c — I wonder ncillier the one nor the other cliosc 
to drop me a little civil note. However, tiieir want of discretion frives ii)e 
no pain. I wish they may pass a happy lil'e togcLlier.' She had live 
children, from whom, however, she docs not seem to have derived much 
happiness, and the finaneial state of the family was pitiable. Margaret 
writes a long letter to her brother James from Newcastle, undated, stating 
that they are unable even to keep a servant. She does not mention what 
they were domg in that locality, but goes on to explain that I3rodie's affairs 
are in a very bad way, but he ' hopes to save something for the children.' 
They had hired a ship to convey them home, ' but the press gang was so 
hot upon the river that the crew were obliged to come ashore and take 
shelter in the houses.' (D.) 

The children were : 

1. James, b. 17G8, 

2. William Douglas, 


3. Jane 

4. Margaret, 

5. Charlotte, 

in the service of tlie 

b. 1700, died un- 


b. 177(;, 

b. 1777, 

East InJia Company, 

married at Madras, 


m. Lieut.- 

m. Lieut. - 

m. Anne, daufliter 

182(3. He wrote 

b. 1770, 



of Colonel Story, 

to bis uncle, 




drowiieil at Madras, 

Lord Fife, for help, 




180J, left a sou, who 

from Malaga (where 


succeeded his 

he was consul) 


in 1792. 

She made frequent long visits to Rotliiemay, where her mother tried 
to nurse her back to Iiealth, but the rest of the family found these visits 
extremely trying, and avoided the house during their duration. Lewis 
writes that she has no visible appetite, and recommends the procuring of 
ass's milk for her. lie laments that he and his wife can see her so seldom 
when she is at liome, though such near neighbours, they not being on good 
terms with her husband, while James, Lord Fife, frankly announces that 
he will not go home while she is there (in 1775). ' Her temper and health 
by indulgence in caprice is brought into a terrible state. She eats nothing 
but a little bread and Sallery, and that little at every time requires an 
liour's coaxing. I think she must soon succeed in putting her period to 
her day.' In the following year she nearly died at Rothicmay of ' strong 
fainting fits and vomiting of blood,' and in 1777 Lady Fife writes : ' She 
is just in the same situation that she was in last year at Rothiemay, and 
a horrid one it was.' 

Lridij ]\largarcl Brodic to her mother, Jane, Lady Fife 

'HnoDiE House, Will January 1777. 
' My deai! Madam, — I am very sony to licar by your letter tliat you have 
been so ill since you went to Ed' I sincerely wish to hear that you may now begin 


potting tho Ik'tter of your Comiilaiiits. Alllio lliis is u very Bad time for one 
that is uiliiif,', but your Ladyship is in a Place where you can luivc I'rojjcr assist- 
ance. I am very Gh:d to licar that Poor I'aiuiy is Iktter, as Your Ladyship 
docs not mention Lady Sophia I am in hopes she is well, I am anxious to hear 
how the nurseing agrees with her, I hojie it does not fatigue her too much, a 
great deal depends ujion The AVay that the Child is in, I beg my Best llespeets 
to Mr. Wharton and Lady Sojjhia. Wishing your Ladyship and them many 
Happy llcturns of the Season, and shall only add that I hope soon to hear that 
your Ladyship is Better, being with Great llespect your most affect. Daughter 
and obligii humWo Servant, BLvugauet Buouie.' {li.) 

In the year 1787 she met lier death by an unfortunate accident, 
being burnt to death in her own bedroom. Her youngest child, aged 
nine, who was with her, escaped from the room, and Brodie himself, 
who slept in the room above, rushed to her assistance, but was too late 
to save her. He wrote next day to Major the Hon. Lewis Duff at 
Rothiemay, per express : 

' Brodie House, five o'clock Saturday morning. — My dear sir, what 
language shall I use to tell you that my dear Lady Margaret was alive and 
well four hours ago, but is now upon eternity. Her death was occasioned 
by her cloathcs taking fire as she was going into bed. I can dictate no 
more — but I am sure you will not only sympathise with me, but you or 
my dear Arthur will hurry immediately to your truly afdicted and miserable 

J. BlfODIE.' 

A letter written by Arthur Duff to Lord Fife gives further details : ' She 
had the whole day been remarkably cheerful and particularly funny and 
droll, as you know she could be at times. She played at cards till supper, 
and sat up with the gentlemen till eleven, when they all parted being to 
hunt next morning near Nairn. She had custom of reading at night after 
going to her own room and had once before set fire to her cloths, which 
made Brodie order her maid never to leave her till the candle was extin- 
guished. Unfortunately the girl was that night ill, and having been ten 
years in her service Lady Margaret's humanity was too much interested 
to allow her to sit up farther. The child, Charlotte, was in bed, but 
declares she had not been to sleep ; that she had frequently called to her 
mother to come to bed, but that she always answered, ' Be quiet, ye little 
fool, don't disturb me. I am reading.' That at last she saw her mother 
all in a blaze come towards the bed, whieli she set in flames, and fell down 
at the foot of it ; that she herself flew to a closet for safety, but not being 
able to get the door shut, made lier way through the flames to the room door, 
and by her shrieks she alarmed her father and tw^o servants, who came at 


the same instant. Broclic came clown in iiis shirt and rnslicd into the room, 
sougiit Lady ]\Iai<,'aict lirst in her bed, tlicn in her chair at the fire, and 
(bund her at last among his I'cct at the foot of tlic bed, and brought her 
out in his arms all in a blaze, and had the presence of mind to roll her in 
the carpet of her dressing-room. But alas, too late, the soul was fled.' 

The portrait of Lady Margaret, like that of her sister Catherine, was 
in the Duff House collection, and now hangs at Montcoffer. There is 
another at Brodie Castle. 

Of the fourteen children of Lord Braco there were, in the next 
generation, forty-five descendants : 

William, born 172]., died 175;}, unmarried. 

1805, two children. 
1758, eight children. 
1S09, no issue. 
1811, seven children. 
177G, six children. 
1818, four children. 
1811, no issue. 
1738, died young. 
1778, six children. 
1820, seven children. 
1705, unmarried. 
1805, unmarried. 
1787, five children. 

Anne, „ 


Janet, ,, 


James, ,, 


Alexander, „ 


Jane, ,, 


George, ,, 


Lewis, ,, 






Sophia, ,. 


Catlierine, ,, 


Artliur, ,; 


Margaret, ,. 


■ rifT fr(« 





James, second Earl Fife, was born on September 29, 1729, being the 
seeond son and fourth child oi" William, afterwards first Earl Fife. The 
first reference to him is in a letter from his mother to liis father, dated 
March 1731 : ' Jamie has gone alone these two days past and has got two 
more teeth. It is a plague to keep him out of your room.' An anecdote 
is related of this same Earl James, showing the boy as father to the man. 
During the time that the family lived at Balvenic, he and another brother 
had been allowed to go to a fair at Dufftown (then known as Laighie), 
and each given a shilling to spend. The brother, presiunably Sandie, 
who being two years younger, was less cautious, soon spent his fairing, 
but James brought the money home again, remarking that ' he had seen 
naething he liket better nor the shilling.' ^ 

His elder brother, William Duff, sometimes styled the Master of Braco, 

' Memorials of John Geddes, being Record of life tit an Upland Glen, 1797-1881, privately 
•printed 1899 by Sir William Duguid Geddes, Principal of Aberdeen University, bon of John 



died in London in 1753, and James is also occasionally alluded to as ' the 
blaster.' Upon his father being raised to the earldom of Fife in 1759, the 
eldest son assumed the courtesy title of Viscount Macduff. Little is known 
of his early youth, but it appears that he was educated chiefly at home by 
tutors, and subsequently went to the University of St. Andrews (as did all 
his younger brothers), and afterwards travelled abroad. 

In the additional MSS. British I\Iuseum there are several letters written 
by James, when a young man and still Lord Macduff, addressed to the Duke 
of Newcastle and his secretary. In one he asks for the office of sheriff 
for a friend, naively adding that this is the first favour he has asked since 
he ' came into Parliament.' In 1755, on starting for a tour abroad, he asks 
for letters of recommendation for Brussels, Hanover, Berlin, Dresden, 
and Vienna, remarking that he does not like to ask for 7nore at the same 
time, but will beg to write again, later. In 17C0 he writes to bespeak the 
interest of the Duke to obtain for him the office of Lord of the Bedchamber 
to the Duke of York. 

He married, in 1759, Lady Dorothea Sinclair, only child of the ninth 
Earl of Caithness,^ and got with her a dowry of £40,000, but did not, as 
he is believed to have expected, succeed to the title and estates, which 
Avent to a younger branch. Of this union there were no children, which 
was a source of great disappointment, and probably led to the disagree- 
ments and unhappiness which finally culminated in 1794 in a separation, 
Lady Fife retiring to live at Hermitage House, Leith, where she died in 
1818, nine years after her husband. One letter of hers to her husband is 
preserved in the family correspondence. It is brief but affectionate : 

'Bath, 15th January 1770. 
' My dear Lord,— I wrote to Lord Roscbcry last night, three lines, but it 
was too late for the post. It seems it goes away at eight o'clock on Sunday 
nights. I shall be very anxious to hear how you do and how you got to 
London. — I am, affectionately yours, D. Fife. 

' To the Earl of Fife, Whitehall, London.' (R.) 

And one from her to her lawyer, Mr. Mitchelson, written only in the follow- 
ing year : 

'EuiNK., Dec. 3rd, 1771. 
' Sir, — I shall be glad if you can send me two hundred or a hundred pounds 
just now to be accounted for when its convenient ; it need not be mentioned 

' The ninth Earl of Caithness ' devised his own estate and that of Murklc, faiUng liis own 
heirs-male, and those o( his brother Francis, and tlie younger sons of his daughter the 
Countess of Fife (if she had any), to George Sinclair of Woodhall." 





or any one acciiiiiintcd with it but us ncccssily ic(|uircs, and would valluT limn 
f^'ivc a receipt lliat yon i)ilt down the dati' of seiuliiij,' nie llic money and I will 
do the same which will do as well — I hope I will get this demand that 1 nialce 
answered, otherwise I shall be in great streats. I shall send a person I can trust 
to receive it — I have immediate occasion for the largest sum I have mentioned, 
and more if I could get it. — I am. Sir, etc., D. Fife.' 

Letter from the Countess of Caithness (Margaret, daughter of Archibald, 
first Earl of Rosebery and mother of the Countess) about the allowance 
made by Lord Fife to his wife, after the separation. It is undated : 

'My lady Caithness Compliment to mr. Mitchilson beg to know if he has 
payed Lady Fife last quarty, whitsunday to mr. Tytler or not. She think it is 
most untolerable if it not payed, but my lady is persuaded that mr. Tytler has 
got it long before this, but to be serton she begs mr. Mitchilson would be so good 
as let her know yea or no. 

' my lady will be very liappay to hear that mrs. Mitchclson is better as she 
emistly wish her good health, booth for her owen sak and thcr friends.' 

A large amount of correspondence on this subject has been preserved, 
tending to show Lord Fife in a very amiable light. He seems to have done 
his best to put up with his wife's constant changes of plans and her caprices, 
and finally to have made her a handsome allowance. 

Viscount Macduff was of great assistance to his father in the manage- 
ment of the latter's vast estate, and on Earl William's death in 17G3 he 
succeeded to large tracts of land in Aberdeenshire, Banffshire, and Moray- 
shire. The following letter to his father from London in 1759 is interesting : 

' London, 1759. 
' My Lord, — I would have wrote you last post, but bclicv'd you to be upon 
the road, so I hope this will find Lady Braco and you in perfect health after an 
agreeable journey. I have all the reason in the World to be satisfied with my 
present situation, I flatter myself that my Conduct is agreeable to my friends 
and I do hope they will shew some pnblick marks of their Esteem for me ; our 
Shirit I believe will be return'd and Mr. Cockburn will have no Shirifship so far, 
for a publick mark of disatisfaction for his Conduct and all this will be brought 
about without my ever having ask'd it or indeed hardlj' told my story, for they 
were all very much master of it, on my coming to town I found there was hardly 
a circumstance they did not know. There has been a great desire to confer some 
mark of Esteem on Your Family, the day before yesterday Mr. Pit told me he 
intended to ask the King to ereat you an Earl in the Kingdom of L'eland, this 
I give you my word I never suggested to him either by myself or any other, I 
do think it is a very great thing as it will gi\i; your l''aiiiily high rank, and it is 
the proper step to something else if that ever should be practicable, for there is 
hardly an instance of an Lish Baron being created an English Peer but after 


his being first rais'd to a higher rank, scvcrals I could name you, since the little 
time I have been lici-e and tliis things being (hni witiiout yours and my asking is 
certainly very handsome as it shews tlie Country tlie Esteem you are in. I 
had no time to wait for your answer, as its probable some other may be nam'd 
Successor in room of the Duke ot Devonshire as Lord Lieut, of Irland in a very 
little time, so I told Mr. Pit that I believed the tittle that would be most agreable 
to you Avould be Earl of Braco and Baron Duff, however if the thing should not 
be don till I can receive your answer, if there is any other tittle more agreable 
to you, be so good as acquaint me and it shall regulate me. You will easily 
judge the improjircity of mentioning this to any body till such time as his 
Majesty says yes to it, so ' [The remainder of this letter is lost.] (0.) 

During his father's lifetime, James lived at Duff House, near Banff,^ 
a house which his father liad built from the designs of the elder Adam 
at the cost of £70,000, but always refused to live there, and indeed never 
finished it. 

In 1754, Lord Fife, then James Duff, entered Parliament as M.P. 
for Banffshire, and continued to sit as member for that county after he 
succeeded his father in the title of Lord Fife, as he was, up to 1790, only 
a peer of Ireland. He was re-elected in 1761, 1774, and 1780. In 1784 
he resigned his seat to his natural son, Sir James Duff of Kinstair, but did 
not abandon his parliamentary work, as in that year he was elected member 
for Morayshire. In a letter of the period he says his desire would be to 
have ' himself sitting for Morayshire and relatives for Banff and the Elgin 

He was of immense political power, and is said to have controlled the 
elections in the three counties in which he had property, viz. Banffshire, 
Aberdeenshire, and Morayshire. That entertaining work. The Political 
Stale of Scotland in 1788 (edited by Sir Charles Adam), states that in Banff- 
shire ' The Duke of Gordon and the Earl of Fife (and indeed the Earl of 
Fife singly) overshadow all the small and independent proprietors,' and of 
the 122 votes then existing in this county, gives 50 as belonging to (' votes 
of) Lord Fife, i.e. his tenants and members of his family, and about a 

' This fine mansion was presented to the town of Banff by the late Duke of Fife, and was 
recently, with some alterations, turned into an hotel, and later into a sanatorium (see page 225). 

The Rev. Richard Pocockc, D.D., Lord Bishop'of Meath, visited Banff during his tour in 
Scotland in July 1760, and mentions Lord Macduff, Lord Fife's eldest son, as inhabiting Duff 

The following quotation from Boswell's Johnson is interesting in this connection: 'On 
Aug. 25, 1773, we got at night to Banff. I sent Joseph on to Duff House ; but Earl Fife was 
not at home, wliicli I regretted much, as we should have had a very elegant reception from 
his Lordship. We found here but an indifferent inn.' 

Three years after Johnson, Wesley was in Banff; and in 1787 Burns passed through it on 
his northern tour, and also visited Duff House. 


ja:mes duff, second earl fife 

dozen more who are in some way or other pledged to, or conneeted with 
him, besides the so-called independent voters and partisans of Hay of 
Mountblairy, son of his brother-in-law and Hay of Rannes, also a connec- 
tion. In Morayshire he heads the list with 27 votes to the Duke's 21, and 
in Aberdeenshire, out of the 178, 33 are entered as ' votes of Lord Fife,' 
while a great number of the 89 ' individual voters ' lean to his side.^ 

The house of Duff has provided a great many members of Parliament, 
covering a period of over three hundred years (1593 to 1893) : 

George Duff of Cullen . Scottish Parliament, 

William Duff . . . Scottish Parliament, for Inverness, 

Alexander Duff of Braco . „ „ „ Banffshire, 

Alexander Duff of Drummuir, „ „ „ Inverness, 

Also sat in first British Parliament for Inverness Burghs, . 
William Duff of Braco (afterwards first Lord Fife) Banffshire, 

James Duff (afterwards second Lord Fife) . 

Arthur Duff of Orton .... 
Sir James Duff of Kinstair 
Sir William Duff-Gordon 
James Duff (afterwards fourth Lord Fife) . 
Sir Alexander Duff of Delgaty 
James Duff (afterwards fifth Lord Fife) . 
George Skene Duff ..... 
Laehlan Gordon Duff .... 
Sir Mountstuart Grant Duff 
Robert William Duff of Fetteresso . 
Colonel James Duff .... 
Alexander William George Duff (afterwards Duke 
of Fife) 

C Banffshire, 
\ Morayshire, 
Elgin Burghs, 
Elgin Burghs, 
Elgin Burghs, 
Norfolk, . 

. 1593 

Moray and Nairn, 1874-1879 

It will thus be seen that Banffshire was, for an aggregate of one 
hundred and eleven years, represented by a Duff, the county of Moray 
for fifteen years, and Elgin Burghs for thirty years. 

Lord Fife was very active in his parliamentary duties, being a constant 
attendant in the House of Commons, and made many excellent and well- 
reasoned speeches, of which the papers of the day speak with great 

In a letter to his factor, William Rose, dated May 4, 1773, he writes : 

• It was not always considered a compliment to receive a qualification to vote. Lord Fife 
wrote to Rev. William Duff, minister at Keig (a relative, see chapter on ' Ministers ') in 
September 1772 : ' I propose giving you a vole in Banrtsliire during your life as a mark of 
my conrulcncc.' Mr. Duff refused to accept. In 1807 William Rose's Morayshire vote was 
sold to Sir James Duff of Kinstair for ;i42o. 



' I sat next Lord Clivo yesterday in tlic House, and lieard him make a speech 
of two liours and twenty niinntes. I iiavo never lieard .so line a one since 
I have sat in J'arlianient. 1 don't say there was iiiueh mailer in it, nor 
perhaps was it prudent, for he sets all at defiance, but for language and 
composition, I never heard its equal.' 

In 1703 James Duff succeeded his father as second Baron Fife, peerage 
of Ireland, and set about managing his large estates in the most enlightened 
manner. In a Frcneh biographical dictionary he is described as ' un grand 
agronome ' (which word is further explained as meaning ' celui qui est 
verse dans les regies de la science agrieole ; qui I'enseigne par ses paroles 
ou par ses ecrits. I\Iot introduit dans la langue fran9aise ii la fin du dix- 
huili^me si^cle'). He Avas looked upon as a most kind-hearted landlord 
at a time when it was not connnon to give much thought to the welfare of 
small tenants. In later years.^ when the crops failed, and there was a great 
scarcity of grain and exorbitant prices ruled, so that the poor in the north 
were threatened witii famine, he allowed his tenants a reduction of twenty 
per cent, on their rents, and imported cargoes of corn from England which 
he sold to the poor below the market price, at a loss to himself of £3000, 
even supplying it gratis to those who were unable to pay, and lists still 
exist of his poorer tenants with the numbers of children in each family, 
and the requisite amount of meal for each. 

The two following letters give other glimpses of his relations with his 
tenants and dependants : 

Lord Fife to W. Rose, his factor 

' WiiiTKiiALL, Jan. 12th, 1773. 
' Your letter from Auchingoul dont tell mc whether you are married or not, 
liowever I suppose so, as I imagine the journey in the morning ended with that 
at night. I write this to you both, that I very serious wish you happy, and that 
I do forscc you have much to combate with, which nothing but Spirit and 
dctcrniiiK'd resolution can get the better of. In the first place, resolve not to 
set yourselves up on a footing of visiting or receiving visits except to those with 
whom you have business and any thing thats to spcir give it to your farm. Mrs. 
Hose must cheerfully join in the plan, and be a most notable active Housewife 
in the Family, and learn to ride. You must settle your own plan, and be con- 
stant to it, be in love with it and not follow other's example. An exact Economy 
must preside both within and without doors, you know I hate avarice, I only 
wish to sec those I love prudent above all things, avoid a paltry affectation of 
finery, let your men servants continue at your farm, and dont be disgraced by 
having a maid servant to wait on yourself and friends at table. I shall be very 

» 1782, 1783. 


sorry if you dont gain tliat horrid misfortunatc character of giving your visitors 
too little Drink. Remember your time on your estate wont perrnitt you to sit 
at dinner from 3 till morning in the Banff stile, and the Purse and ConsiUulion 
will very soon be ended if dissipation takes place. I shall be wonderfully pleas'd 
to see you thrive and be happy, if you go on in a wrong stile you had better let 
me look at it rather than hid/; it, as I may give a friendly hint of amendment, 
and there are many that wont be sorry to sec mc have no credit from my People. 
You know I never scold, and that I hate Complaining, so if yon are in an improper 
way, I have too much to do to be a Preaclicr — but I pray God to direct you both 
and make you happy which will give much pleasure to, Dear Rose, Your affec- 
tionate, Fife.' (R.) 

To the Same 

'March VMU, 1774. 
' My firm resolution is ever to stand in support of an honest, trusty servant, 
even should that character be attended with many faults and inconveniences. 
If I cannot put up with their service, I wll wish to provide for them. But if 
one is dishonest or deceitful, I will not prosecute ; leave him to God Almighty 
and his own conscience ; but I will forget him and have nothing to do with him. 
If his dishonesty is so evident as to make it a public duty to prosecute him, I 
will give way to it, but if only a little picking thief, let him run off with his dirty 
pelf. Be rigidly economical without the least mixture of avarice. I hope I 
can give away money, when cither my pleasure, amusement, or even disagree- 
able politics require it, or to promote the worthy or to relieve distress. I most 
anxiously wish never to be cheated or, what is worse, to permit of little smuggling 
unnecessary expense which neither adds to my honour nor interest. I have 
ever laboured to be thankful to God for the many blessings I enjoy very unde- 
servedly, to bear with patience and resignation the disagreeable things through 
life, to support my spirits under their afflictions, and to avoid pulling in pros- 
perity nor repining nor claiming pity when things are disagreeable.' {li.) 

The town of Macduff, formerly known as Doune, owes its rise and its 
formation into a burgli entirely to Lord Fife. Owing to the good har- 
bour which he built, the town has long been much more prosperous than 
its older neighbour, Banff. 

In private life he had the reputation of being a hard man, but was 
merely exact and precise in his accounts. He api)cars to have inherited 
in a marked degree his father's business ability, integrity, and firmness, 
somewhat tempered perhaps by the softer qualities of his mother, to whom, 
like all her children, he was devotedly attached. A certain pride of 
seniority and position, of which his younger brothers complain in their 
early letters (sec chapter on the 'Children of first Earl Fife') seems to 


liave completely worn off as lie f^rcw older and wiser, and became, besides, 
sonictliing ol' ii. jiliilosoplier. 

In an otherwise dull letter to his factor he writes : ' You know my 
maxim, to make the best of what we cannot mend.' (R.) 

A few years after succeeding to the estates he made a tour on the Con- 
tinent. In a letter to his factor he says : 

' I have been making a tour for ten days over a great j^art of Luxembourg 
and the countries betwixt France and Germany on horseback. I have rode 
through many woods just like the woods in Mar, only tliis dif[crence, that they are 
more extensive and fine oaks and beeclics arc large as any lirs. They destroy and 
cut them pretty much in the same way, and cut them very far from the ground, 
by which much of the tree is lost. I desire that you will be attentive tluit the 
things are done right at Mar Lodge, as I shall certainly pass a month or two next 
summer in that place, and give as strict order as i:)ossible about the game every- 
where. I am resting just now, the heat of the day, having rode eighteen miles 
before nine o'clock. I shall get to Spa to-morrow night.' (R.) 

A little later he visited Ireland : 

' Dublin, June 8, 1782. 

' I have seen cverj'thing here, heard all their best speeches in both houses, 
seen all the Volunteers in this quarter, din'd, visit'd, and ball'd at all the great 
Houses. Seen everything there is at the Castle and dined with the Lieut, and 
his family party.' (R.) 

Large as was the property to which he succeeded on his father's death, 
he, nevertheless, nearly doubled the family estates by judicious purchases 
in Aberdeenshire, Banffshire, and Morayshire. Among these purchases 
were portions of the estates of Inncs, Inchbroom, Dunkinty, and Leuchars, 
all from the Innes family, and from the family of Brodie, Spynie, Mon- 
aughty, and Aslisk, while Leggat was taken over for a bad debt. In 1777 
he acquired by excambion from the Duke of Gordon the lands of Ardgay.^ 

He was one of the pioneers of afforestation, having planted fourteen 
thousand acres of barren ground. He was most anxious these estates 
should not be divided, and in 17G9 writes thus to his brother Arthur : 

'Duff Housk, Kov. 22nd, 1709. 

' Dear Arthur, — I have considered with great Deliberation and attention 

the Family Settlements, and I find that upon the failure of my Brothers and 

their Sons, all the Lands contain'd in the Tailic of Braco would go to a different 

series of Heirs, and the Lands contain'd in the Tailie of Mar would go on to my 

' A later excambion between Duke of Gordon and Earl of Fife gives the Duke's lands 
excarabed as Davoch of Grange, Kintrae, Urquhart, etc. The Earl's, Garmouth, Corskie, 
Essie, etc. Dipple and Essie were exchanged for Grange, to suit both parties, as being con- 
tiguous to their other lands. 

/^AJ HO P.Tf>.f.¥f: 


Urolhcrs DaugliLers and so on to my Sisters. Should it please God that this 
event took plaee, tlie Estate would be inlircly disconnceted and disjoined and 
all Ihe pains taken by my (JrandfaLher, fullui- aiiil self to eonneet I lie Instate, 
intirely at an end, besides there would be endles Law sutes in the family about 
the diserij)tion of different Lands. I find there is a power by the Entail of 
Braco that will mend this, so I want that my Brothers and I should do what 
we can to prevent the Estates from separating and that in case of the failure of 
my Brothers and their Sons, all the Lands in the Entail of Braco should be 
scttl'd in the Substitution as in the Entail of Mar, it is impossible to be more 
explicate by a letter, but in case you see my Brothers before I do, from what 
has past in conversation you will be able to explain the matter fully to them and 
there is no time to be lost in setting about the necessary forms to get this matter 
put right, as if one- of us should die, the thing will not then be so easy ; in the 
mean time I shall get proper advice what is the most proper way to execute it, 
so as when my Brothers and I meet we may be able to do it, you will see it very 
proper that this matter is keejDt private, as those who have very distant concern 
might be allarmed, and give us trouble. — Your affec, etc., Fife.' (R.) 

When in Scotland he resided alternately at Duff House, Banff, Mar 
Lodge, Aberdeenshire, and Innes House, near Elgin. From the latter he 
Avrites on December 10, 1775 : ' Her Grace of Gordon was walking over 
the Elgin market last Wednesday recruiting. I think no very creditable 
employment for the Dutchess.' ^ 

He Avas kind and hospitable to his neighbours, though he was always 
considered to stand a good deal on his dignity with them, as well as with 
the members of his family. 

As there was no family mansion in London, Lord Fife bought a piece 
of land in Whitehall, a part of the garden of old Whitehall Palace, and there 
built a fine residence, which he called Fife House. So true a Scot was he 
that he is stated to have brought up to London, by sea, several cartloads 
of Banffshire soil for the foundations of his house, as well as the stone, 
timber, and shrubs for the garden, so that though he rcsiiicd for a great 
part of the year in Fhigland, his house stood on Scottish gromul. There 
was a charming picture of I^ife House in the Duff House collection. It 
was built in 1772, of course before the existence of the Embankment, and 
had a beautiful garden running down to the river. In May 1776 he writes 
that ' the thrushes and blackbirds there make it quite cheerful. What 
more could I have in the country ? ' ^ 

' The Duchess, Jane Maxwell, was at that date raising a company for the Fraser High- 
landers for her brother, Captain Maxwell. 

- The Earl of Liverpool leased it from Lord Fife's executors and lived there, and died in 
the ho\ise, when Prime Minister, in 1828. The house was pulled down in May 1869, but the 
Duff arms are still to be seen over the doorway of the corner house in Whitehall Court. 


In 1700 tlicvc was a robbery at Fife House. Lord Fife writes : ' Tlic 
(liai)ion(ls hiUcii arc worlli about IIIOO. All my coins aiul iiicdals wen; 
in Llie sanu; j)lace, but very lueUily llicy have not lonelied thcni. 'J'Iutc 
are also left rings and diamonds that were in the place with the others.' 
Lord File suspeeted his porter of the robbery. 

In the following spring his Lordship thus describes his London house- 
hold : ' My Family consists at present of Hose, a colt, a new master of the 
household, a German footman who neither speaks I'^nglish nor French, a 
Swiss footman, John, coachman, and his new horses, a new postilion, 
Thomas Rcid, gardener, colt at the door, a new lady's woman, a French 
cook, and three housemaids. Don't you think I have much to do with 
tlie lot ? and yet I hope I shall break the whole lot in.' (R.) 

He was a good deal at Court, and says in a letter, 1790, ' I am just going 
to the dining-room to take my leave of the King and Queen, and to sec 
a very extraordinary thing, which is Madame d'Albanj^ the Pretender's 
widow, presented to the King and Queen. ^ It is very interesting, that if 
this unfortunate family had its own way this latly would have been 
Queen Dowager this day.' 

Again he writes to his factor from Whitehall : ' I was yesterday at 
Court to wish their Majesties a good New Year, and kissed both their 
hands on being aj^pointcd (by myself !) to go to Paris for a few weeks. Put 
my letters under cover to Abraham, and direct " a Milord Comte de Fife." 
Don't put any covers on your letter but the paper you write on.' Eight 
days after he writes from Paris : ' There is nothing but everything gay 
and good-lmmoured. I go to the opera to-morrow to see the Queen, and 
shall next week go to Versailles to their Majesties.' 

On January 28, Lord Fife wrote from Paris : ' There has been such a 
fall of snow and hard frost that there has been nothing like it since the 
year '40. It is still likely to continue, and freezing as hard as ever. I am 
vastly well amused here in a most agreeable society. You would be 
surprised to sec the Queen here dancing our country dances better than 
anybody in Banffshire. She was much flattered with my praising her.' 

In 1788, when nearly sixty, he writes : ' I am always at my table in the 
morning a little after five o'clock. Heading or writing is over before break- 
fast. The forenoon employed in exercise or direction out of doors. For 
society, if that is not always amusing, books arc jircfcrrcd, I state this to 
you to tempt you to come to me.' ^ 

He was on most friendly terms with His Majesty King George iii. 

' LoiiisailcSlolbcrg.wiilowof Prince Charles Eihvanl Stewart. lie died in i7SH,.slicin 182^. 

- From a letter written to Arthur Young, author of the famous pre-rcvolution Travels in 

Prance, with whom Lord Fife had mucli correspondence about agriculture and farming, in 

17S .TAi\ii':s i)nFr\ si<:coni:> kmu. fiki<: 

.lames. Lord Fife, lo WilUain Rose, factor at J>nii0' 

'WiiiTKiiAi.i,, Miirfh 1(1///, 171W. 
' I wrote you of the two graciotis messages tlic King sent me last week. lie 
had a lc\'cc Satiirduj', and at the time lie was seiing everybody, the infamous 
papers was allarming the country that he was ill. I went down yesterday.* 
lie had most of the Privy Council with him from ten till near one o'clock. I saw 
the Queen, who was vastly gracious to me. I rather wished to avoid troubling 
the King, but only to see him ; a little before one o'clock he came out and mounted 
his horse, « Inch he had not done since October. I need not hint to you how my 
heart warmed when I saw him. I went to the other side of the road rather to 
see it and not be seen. His eye catehcd me, and he directly called out before 
all the people that was there : " Lord Fife, I am glad to sec you. How do you 
do ? Come forward. I am rcaly glad to see you, and I hope you are quite 
well." All this I bore as became me with grateful thanks. He then called out : 
" Lord Fife, you are no gambler. You arc no rat." I then forgot all distance 
between King and subject, and went up and took him by the thigh on horseback, 
prayed the Almighty God to bliss him, and I aded : " Yes, Sir, I am a gambler 
at this moment ; the greatest stake I have is on that Horse, and, f(jr God sake, 
take care of it, and don't ride too hard." My eyes were full of tears. He 
thanked me and added, " I will take care of number one. You have been good 
to niunber one." He then called for the different Park keys, and took those 
where he intended to ride, giving directions. All this was publiek, so it did me 
more honor than if it had been in his closset. I saw Sir George Young, who 
was with him after he returned from his ride, and he was exceedingly well. 
Indeed his whole appearance astonished me. I never saw him look better, 
. . . The King has ordered all the Foreign Ministers to attend him to-morrow. 
You sec what a share I have of the second sight by not dcsj^onding. Lord Dover 
is to have Lord Lothian's gold stick, and Lord Helawarr to be Lord of Bed- 
cluunber in place of the rat Qiieensberrj% who ran to France. This shows you 
that Dukedoms, great fortune, and ribbonds does not secure esteem, unless 
honor and virtue attends them ' {Annals of BanJ]').^ 

In 17S9 Lord Fife writes : ' It is a iilcasurc to sec the gratitude of the 
public to that amiable Prince, in both playhouses they every night oblige 
them to play and sing " God save great George our King." The galleries 
would pull the house down if they did not do it.' And on April 13, 1789 : 

the course of which he more than once apologises (or the two months of autumn ' idled ' in 
sport (British Museum MSS.). 

' To Kew Palace. 

- Banff Town Council Jlinutcs. The Council (Jfarch 13, lySo) sent an address to (lie King, 
congratulating him on his recovery, and the Council a]>|iointcd a general illumination in llic 
whole houses within Ihe burgh in the evening, in order lo exjiress tlicir satisfaction upon the 
happy event of his Majesty's recovery. 


' I wish tl)is llianksffiving at St. Paul's was over. TIic King is positive 
tof,'o. Ilciiad, ill an interval oi'rccollcetions (of wliicli lie liad many during 
tlic delirium), i'aileii on liis knees and prayed to (Jod that it ever he was 
returned to reason he should take the most publiek manner of returning 
thanks to God, and this he has often repeated and now adheres to.' 

IMay 10, 1791, London : ' I adore Burke for his pamjililct and his speceh. 
lie dined with me Sunday, and I filled a bumper to " JMr. Burke and the 
British Constitution." ' 

Being on the most intimate terms Avith Pitt and Pelham, as is shoAvn 
by many references in his letters, and having been very assiduous in liis 
parliamentary attendances, and faithful to the ministry throughout the 
King's illness, he was in 1790 raised to the peerage of England by the title 
of Earl Fife of the United Kingdom, antl tlius terminated his career as a 
member of the House of Commons. But his activity did not abate, and 
he was equally constant in his attendances at the House of Lords. During 
the celebrated trial of Warren Hastings for malpi-actices in India, Lord Fife 
was one of the peers chosen as judges (he was junior but one), and at the 
conclusion of the evidence gave his opinion, with the majority, as ' Not 
Guilty, upon my honour.' ^ 

In 1801 he made an excellent speech in the House of Lords on the 
conduct of the war, emphatically deploring the waste of j^ublie money, 
and the subsidising of foreign powers. 

During the latter years of his life, having no son to succeed him, he took 
great interest in his nephews, James and Alexander Duff, the sons of his 
next brother Alexander, who succeeded as third Earl Fife. He had these 
boys to stay with him constantly, botli at Dull' House and in London, and 
doubtless influenced their future careers — the elder and the son of the 
younger eventually succeeding as fourth and fifth earls respectively. 

In several early letters Lord Fife complains of east winds, etc., affecting 
liis eyes, and as early as 1788 he writes to his factor about ' the account 
Avith Mr. Dollond, optician ' ; the affection, whatever it was, became much 
worse, and i'or tiu^ last nine years of his life he was quite blind, and had to 
dictate all his letters and be led about by attendants, but his faculties and 
activity of mind were unimpaired to the last. His blindness was the 
cause of an action in the Court of Session in 181G about his will, as it was 
alleged that his hand was held while signing it, and that he was not fully 
aware of the contents, since it was only read over to him ; but the pro- 
visions contained in it were eventually allowed to stand. 

• His iclaUvc, General I'atricic DulT of Carnoiisio, was a warm personal friend of 
Warren Hastings, and wrote him a congratulatory letter upon the accjuittal becoming known, 
dated Carnousic, April 30, 1795. See chapter xxxi. 


Lord Fife died at Iiis house in Whitehall oji January 2[, 1809, aged 
eighty, and was buried in the mausoleum at Duff House.* He was suc- 
ceeded by his brother Alexander (two years younger), wiio thus became 
third ]<^.arl File in the peerage of Ireland, the peerage of Gi'cat Britain, 
whieh was to descend to heirs-male of the body only, exijiring with the 
second Earl, to whom it was granted. - 

The Gentleman! s Magazine gives the following account of Lord Fife : 
' He was a man of sense, sound understanding, and pleasing manners. 
He lived in Magnificent style, both in Scotland and at his house in the 
Privy Gardens, Whitehall. In his person he was of the middle size, well 
made, and had been when young of a very agreeable figure.' 

lie was a patron of art, and purchased many j^ortraits and pictures, 
with whieh he filled Duff House, Rothicmay, Innes, and Fife House ; a 
number of these were sold by the late ]3uke of Fife in 1907. Lord Fife 
privately printed a catalogue of the works of art in his possession in 1808, 
and dedicated it to Sir Benjamin West, P.ll.A. Two copies of this, in 
JIS., arc in the British Museum. His great desire was to establish by 
indisputable evidence the antiquity of his family, which had, without doubt, 
sunk somewhat into obscurity four or five generations earlier. The family 
of Duff of Muldavit, of which James' great-great-grandfather was a younger 
son, was long resident near Cullen ; of this family there are authentic 
documentary records from about 1400 down to ICjO, after which date the 
last IMuldavit, who had sold his lands, died. The family had a burial-place 
in the churchyard of Cullen, and from there in the year 1792, on the com- 
pletion of the mausoleum at Duff House, Lord Fife moved two stones. 
One, a recumbent elligy, which had lain in Cullen church, under the arch 
of a recessed tomb, and the other a flat stone adorned ^vith the incised 
figure of a knight in armour. Beneath the latter were found some bones, 
which were also taken to Duff House.^ The inscription on the incised 
stone now reads : ' Hie jacet Johanes Duf de IMaldavat ct Baklavi 
obiit 7 Julii 1404,' but appears to have been tampered with, as there 

> ' Funeral of the Earl of Fife. On Thursday last the remains of the late Earl of Fife passed 
through this place in a hearse drawn by six liorses, preceded by mutes, followed by the mourners 
in a mouminij coach with four, his lordship's carriage with six, and several other carriages, in 
which were the gentlemen who accompanied the funeral to the family vault at Duff House, 
where, we understand, the body was on Saturday deposited' (from the Ab'.rdeen Jomnal 
of a /lundrcd years ngo, 1909). 

- The late peer had three natural children, born before his marriage, viz. General Sir 
James ])ulf of Kinstair, Major William Dutf, and Jane or Jean Duff, who lived long at Scar- 
bor()U|-;h. 'I'liey arc treated of in tliapler xxxiv. 

'■' The letler from Lord Findlater's factor, authorising this removal, is dated April 13, 

u? i 


-Bii /V(w-(.f Cot 



is other IcttcrinfT, now illcf^iblc, and, in liis zeal to idcntiry tlic Jolni 
Dul'i' tliere hnried with the one mentioned in the earliest Muldavit 
charter given to him in 1792 by his cousin, Lord Findlater, Lord 
Fife had the date recut (and presumably altered), and unfortunately 
allowed the cutter to make use of Arabic figures, which would not have 
been used in a contemporary inscription. This oversight gave a handle 
to the criticism and scorn poured upon his claim to descend from the Duffs 
of IMuldavit, by the late Dr. Cramond and others. The claim in itself was 
perfectly genuine, though the means he took to establish it were unfor- 
tunate. The whole question has been discussed in an earlier chapter. Lord 
Fife also moved, as he had every right to do, the monument and the body 
of his great-uncle, Alexander Duff of Braco, and those of his father and 
mother and niece Frances, from the old church of Grange, and, with less 
justification, another monument from Banff old churchyard, said to be 
that of Provost Douglas. 

Among the Rose MS., Advocates' Library, Aberdeen, is a letter 
to John Alexander Cameron, from George Inilach, written evidently 
early in the present century, in which the writer says : ' In our history 
we must remark the shameful spoliation, by the late Earl James, of 
the momnnent of Provost Douglas from our churchyard, and now 
tacked to the back of his mausoleum, where it does not willingly stick, 
for it is coming away from the wall of its own free will and aeeord. lie 
covered the original inscription by a freestone plate, with an inscription 
about the place of the Carmelites, etc. . . . Old Allcstcr will tell you all 
about it. It was carried off by the Earl's mj'rmidons, sub silcntio noctis. 
I made Lord Fife's jieople believe the other day that the Provost's ghost 
turned the vase into the river.' 

Nicol's Uaiijf and Neighbourhood, 1879, states that ' over the grave of 
Douglas was the figure of a knight, which has now disappeared.' On 
another page the same writer states that ' a relic of St. Mary's Chapel is 
built into the back of the mausoleum, an arched vault, with the recumbent 
elligy of King Robert Bruce in armour. Carving round the rim of the 
arch, representing the vine, is in beautiful preservation, and the base 
stones are richly carved in panels. One bears in Latin the text, " Beati 
mortui qui moriuntur in Domino ; a laboribus suis rcquiescunt ct illorum 
opera cos sequuntur. Apoc." Another has the St. Andrew's cross in 
bold relief, but, excepting one letter, the inscription that had covered the, 
face of the cross is obliterated ; and other panels bear " Memento Mori," 
with sandglass, skull, crossbones, bullrushes, and other emblems of 

The supposed effigy of Robert Bruce is almost certainly that of Provost 


Douirlas, the monument here described having been creetcd ]irol3al)]y in 
the Provost's lifetime. 

Long before tlie date of setting up the Muldavit monument in the 
mausoleum, Lord Fife had been trying to investigate tiic liistory of his 
ancestors, for in 177S he writes to his factor : ' Pray look into the family 
history and see who was Keithmore's mother, and what the name of his 
father.^ I think Adam. I have actually found one of my family . . . the 
arms quite certain, and from the date I think it must have been Jamieson 
that painted it. The picture belonged to old Alexander the painter, and 
had been sold with his things. How he came by it, I cannot say.' ^ 

In 1912, the vault of the mausoleum, which was full, with the excep- 
tion of one space, was filled in with fine sand, and the ventilators and 
staircase walled up with solid masonry. 

A slab in the wall of the mausoleum now commemorates the twenty- 
one persons whose bodies lie below. They arc : 


Beginning at foot of stairs : 

No. 1. Anne, widow of General the Honourable Sir Alexander Duff, G.C.IL, 
died February It, 1859, aged 70 years. 

No. 2. General the Honourable Sir Alexander Duff, G.C.II., Lord 
Lieutenant of the County of Moray, second son of Alexander, 
third Earl of Fife, died March 21, 1851, aged 73 years. 

No. 3. The Right Honourable Alexandeu, third Earl of Fife, Lord Vis- 
count Macduff, Baron Braeo, etc., etc.. Born April 13 (O.S.), 
1731, died at Duf[ House, April 17, 1811, aged 80 years. Father 
of General Duff. 

No, 4. Alexander Duff Tayler, died July 2G, 1809, in the sixth year 
of his age. Son of Lady Jane Tayler. 

No. 5. The Right Honourable James, second Earl of Fife, Viscount IMacduff, 
Baron Braeo of the Kingdom of Ireland, Baron Fife in Great 
Britain, Lord Lieutenant of the County of Banff, Colonel of the 
Banffshire Local Militia, F.R.S. and S.A. Died January 24, 
1809, in the eightieth year of his age. 

No. 6. Jane, Countess of Fife, born 1704, second wife of William, first Earl 
of Fife. Died at Rothiemay, January 10, 1788, aged 83 years. 

* His father also had been anxious to get the exact position of Adam defined. See 
chapter ix. 

* This probably refers to the portrait of John Duff of Bovnnakellach by Jamesone, which 
has the arms in the corner. It was this ' Alexander ' who renovated and signed some of the 
Puff House pictures, and added to them unauthorised dates. See list of illustrations. 


No. 7. WiixiAM, first Earl of Fife. Died September 80, 1703, atred 

CG yciu's. 
No. 8. Jamks, fitlh Karl of Fife, K.T. JJorn July 0, 1K14, died August 

7, 1879. 
No. 9. Agnes Georgina Elizabeth, wife of James, fifth Eavl of Fife. 

Born May 12, 1829, died Deecmber 18, 1809. 
No. 10. James Duff, fourth Earl of Fife and Viscount Macduff in the 

peerage of Ireland, Baron Braco of Kilbrydc, Baron Fife of the 

United Kingdom, K.T., G.C.II., Knight of the Spanish Order of 

St. Ferdinand, and of the Swedish Order of the Sword. Born 

October 0, 1770, died March 9, 1857. 
No. 11. Watt Duff. 

No. 12. Supposed to be Alexander Duff of Braco. 
No. 1.3. Supjwsed to be William Duff of Braco, successor of Alexander Duff 

of Braco. Diid at Balvenie, 1718. 
No. 14. Supposed to be Margaret, daughter of Sir William Gordon of Les- 

morc, wife of Alexander Duff of Braeo. 
No. 15. Jliss Frances Duff. Died at Rothiemay, March 0, 17S7, aged 

20 years. Youngest daughter of the Hon. George Duff of Milton. 
No. 10. Alexander Francis Tayler. Died November 8, 1828, aged 14. 

Son of Lady Jane Tayler. 
No. 17. The Honourable the Lady Jane Tayler, eldest daughter of Alex- 
ander, third Earl of Fife. Died at Edinburgh, May 22, 1850, 

aged 70 years. 
No. 18. Alexander Francis Tayler, formerly Major of the 20th Regiment 

of Foot. Son-in-law of Alexander, third Earl of Fife. Died at 

Rothiemay, September 1854, aged 89 years. 
No. 19. Hon. Arthur Duff of Orton, died 1805. 
No. 20. Not known. 
No. 21. Major \Vii,i.iam Duff, 2Gth Regiment, son of James, second Earl of 

Fife. Died 1795, aged 41. 

The following extracts from some of Lord Fife's letters will show that 
he had much humour and family affection. Writing from ]Mar Lodge in 
August 1782 to his sister. Lady Anne Duff, he says : 

' I have had nothing but high winds and violent rains and yet every day have 
I been out, and regularly wet to the skin. I came here last night after 10 o'clock, 
after shooting two fine stags, and you never saw a duck more compleatly wet 
than your brother. I am to try to-morrow to send a side of one of the sta^s to 
Rothiemay. It is a wonderful trouble equiping out a poor tennents horse from 
here, and another from Glenbucket, to carry this half beast, which they, I hope, 
will do by Thursday night. My dear Mother us'd to get it in dirt and stink.' 
We us'd to nose it before it came to the place ; and you dare not deny that your- 
self and the other dear little ones us'd to get broath of vinison with hundreds of 

<'ii>m>ii tuivv i4U' 


iinimals ! I shull nivcr wish to send her iinytliiiic; in iliat style. My rascally 
lorrcsLcr at Glciiochty oivcs mc nolhin/i; but what he sends to I?()tiii(Mi;i,y, and 
all he sent last year was one lean liind, ajjont as fat as yon was when yon niai-ried. 
]5e not offended ; I speak not of you now, but only on the state ol former times ' ' 
(Fraser's Chiefs of Grant). 

The second is from Fife House, 1793, and is addressed to Lady Grant : " 

' I am glad Sir James and you arc safe and sound on the hill tops and the 
fcncibles rising in number. I hope we shall have soon no use for them, that the 
swords will be plougliing the fertile plains of Delachaple, etc. 

' I was last night at Lord Amherst's, when the good news came in of the 
French evacuating Ostend ; they will all soon be sent to their lawful master the 

D 1. God forgive you for the only sin I believe you commit ; sending us 

cold Strathspey wind and rain. Wc never smelt it till you got to Castle Grant. 
... I have been horribly distressed with inflamed eyes, by foolishly ridinf out 
in a cold easterly wind. It would have been a comfort to Sir James Grant, but 
I hate wind. I am however better now, and am going to dine at the Lord 
Maj'or's feast, much against my will ; but he has behaved so honourably, that 
I must show him all the respect in my power ' (Eraser's Chiefs of Grant). 

To his brother^ Arthur Buff of Orton 

' VViiiTKirAi.L, Afdi/ 2ii(l, 1774. 
' Dear Arthur, — I am very much fatigu'd by being in the House, till past 
three this morning, on the American Eills, which are now all past, one for Depriv- 
ing the Town of Boston of a Port,^ and the other two, upon the liegulations of 
their Civil and Military Legislation, all this, with the attendance of nine 
Ilegts. which arc now ordcr'd there, will jiroljably bring them to Moderation, 
and a Dutyfull Connection to their Mother Country. I have bought a Pound 
of the Grass, Cabbage and Tui'neej) Seeds for you, and shall take the lirst oppor- 
tunity i>r sending them, I wish you had order'd them sooner, as I fear the Grass 
and Cabbage seeds will be late. We must think with Deliberation, on what is 
most prudent, and proper, to be done as to Brodie's affairs, the only thing I 
fear, is designing People doing some thing to our Prejudice, without any Benefite 
to him. It is better to say nothing on the Subject, and I shall do every thing 
I can to prevent bad People from hurting us. I hope to leave this in a fort- 
night and to go by IMar Lodge, to visit my farm there, and rest a few days till 
my Servants, etc., get to Duff House. I have wrote to Captn. Gordon lately, 

• • Mrs. Duff is advised to drink lite ass milk in the Spring Have used the freedom to send for the 
Rothiemay ass. She is thin but otherwise well. She joins with me in Comphments to your 
Lordship, Lady Bracco and our young friends. — I am, My Lord, Your Lordship's most obedient ' 
and most obliged humble scrvt., Ale.xander Duff. 

' Balyuchollie, i.VA Febry. 1759.' (D.) 

' His niece, daughter of Anne. ' In consequence of the tea riots. 


and sent him a letter from Lord Rochford, whieh shows I have done everytliing 
in niy power forJoIm Gordon (chapler xxxvii.) l)oLli here and witli forei<,mers, I 
never had any exj)eetations from the Captn., but J thouglit it rii,dit to do every 
thing in my ])ower to gain his assistanee, wliich if I ch) not siieeeed in, I think 
I shall then take my leave of every future Interviews witli liim ; tliat from 
experience, I know gives no pleasure, it is a bitter Portion, and should only be 
taken, in Gratitude for p;ist favers, or in hopes of those that are to come ; I 
dont think I shall be under any obligation to test it. Adieu. — Yours affec- 
tionately, FlFU.' (li.) 

To his factor, IV i I Ham Rose 

WiMTKHAM,, April 2^rd, 177G. 

' I have had five days attendance from seven in the morning to seven at 
night on the Dutchess of Kingston, wlio yesterday came forth Countess of Uristol. 
The Lords find her guilty of fellony, but she Plead her Peerage, and therefore 
could not be burnt in the hand. I confess I tliink her Case very hard for the Duke 
of Kingston and she by the advice of the first Council was assured that by the 
Sentanee of the Ecclesiastical Court she was a free Woman and could marry 
any body. She lived with the Duke as his Dutchess, was so Receiv'd at Court 
and remain'd some time as his widow. Depending on this Sentanee she j^ush'd 
iier tryal and now the Lords set that Sentanee of the Ecclesiastical Court aside ; 
before the Licence for her marriage with the Duke was given Ld. IMansfield 
was consulted, the Archbishop of Canterbury keep'd her papers for a day for 
consideration and then gave the Licence, so on the whole I think her fate is 
hard, and she is now to Combat for the fortune £15,000 a year, whieh the Duke 
left her so long as she continued a Widow. So here is fine work for La^vyers 
and will probably involve the Remainder of her Days in Litigation. ^ . . . Here is 
very fine hot weather, I hear you ha\'e had snow. — Yours, Fife. 

' To Mr. Rose, Banff.' (R.) 

There is a letter from Lord Fife (at the Record OfTice), dated February 25, 
1772, asking for the pardon of Andrew Hay of Ranncs and James Gordon 

* Elizabeth, Duchess of Kingston (1720-178S), sometimes called Countess of Bristol, was the 
daughter of Colonel Thomas Chudlcigh. She was a very beautiful girl, and was appointed Maid 
of Honour to Augusta, Princess of Wales, in 1743. On August /), 1744, she was privately married 
to Augustus John Hervey, afterwards third Earl of Bristol, but the marriage was kept secret 
to enable her to retain her post at Court, while Hervey returned to his naval duties. The mar- 
riage was recognised later, and when she became the mistress of Evelyn Pierrepont, second 
DuUe of Kingston, tiervcy wislied to divorce her. She therefore started a suit of jactitation, 
probably collusive, in which she declared herself unmarried, and the court in 1769 pronounced 
her a sfjinstcr. Within a month she married Kingston, wlio died (our years later, leaving her 
all his property. 'I'lic case referred to by Lord Fife was brought by the Meadows family, who 
claimed the estate. She, although pronounced guilty, seems to have retained the money until 
her death at Paris in 1788. (The suit of jactitation could only, previous to 1857, take place 
in an ecclesiastical court.) 



of Cobairdy ^ for their share in the rebciiion of 1745. In it he states that 
they iiad ever sinec tiiat (hitc behaved so ;is lo inciil, llu; lavoiir and pro- 
tcelioii of governnient, hviiig near Lord Kile, and visiling and being visited 
I)y everybod)' in llie eonntry. 

Lord Suffolk replies that, in view of the many forms that must be 
observed before obtaining a formal pardon from the King, if these gentle- 
men remain unmolested, it is better not to stir in the matter at all.^ 

Fifteen ycai's later Andrew Hay seems to have been living |)eaceably at 
home, and writes : 

To the Earl Fife 

' My Lord, — I regret tliat my stupidity in not directing my last letter under 
your Lop.'s cover occasioned you so much trouble which 1 beg you '11 be so good 
as excuse. I shall in future be more exact, as my sister is so good as Clerk for 
nic, you '11 easily read my letters which a tremor in my hand joynd to a degree 
of stujiidity renders my letters often luiintelligible. This day's post which now 
arrives very irregularly brought me a very friendly kind letter from Sir .lames 
Duff in whieli he nicnLions your Lo]).'s good health on which my sister and I 
rejoices and wish long continuance of so valuable a blessing. Your Lop. is very 
gooii in attempting to regulate the conveyance of letters from Aberdeen to the 
North as also a rclieff about the coall tax whieli will be very bcncfieiall to all the 
coast of Scotland especially the Engie from which your Lop. wants to take Old 
Moors. If I can judge from the newspapers the commcreiall treaties and Mr. 
Hastings affair will occasion very long and fatigucing sederunts in the House. 
As your Lop. is so kind as jjermit inc to enclose letters I have taken the liberty 
to send one for Capt. Abcrcromby at Bath and one for my Cousin Adam Hay at 
Leicester. As I know your Lop. will not grudge the trouble of saveing a ]ioor 
Sub Tennant a shilling. 

' Nothing new in this corner but the finest weather that has been remembered 
which has been of great service to the country in saveing provinder and for- 
warding labouring. My sister and I joyn in presenting humVile respects to your 
Lop. I have the honour to be with sincere esteem and attachment. My dear 
Lord, Your most affect, and obedient humble servant, Anouew Hay. 

' Hannks Fi'lir. ]l!//i, 17i!7.' 

1 n 1801 , aged seventy-two, Lord Fife writes from Inncs House : ' I dined 
here at three o'clock ii])on Sunday, rode to Kothiemay in the evening,^ and 
on Monday morning rode through Auldmorc and Carinoutli and was at 

' Half-brother to Sir William Gordon. Andrew Hay was Major in Pitsligo's Regiment. 
' Slate Papers, Domestic Scries. In the same collection is a ' Permission,' dated May 31, 
17C0, ' For tlie Earl and Countess of Fife to pass, on horseback, through the Horseguards.' 
■' About twenty-five miles. 

: ar:>iiT4i boM .•auo 


Innes before nine o'clock having cat nothing, so you sec vviiat Jin active 
young fellow I am ! ' 

But this must have been almost the last of his active days, as within 
the year he went blind, and eight years later he died. There is a i)leasing 
portrait of him by Cotes, of which there are several replicas. 

Some other pleasant letters of his are added, frojii the British Museum 

To Bishop Douglas 

'DuiF IIovsi:, Jiihi 6th, 1700. 
' My dear Lord, — I do with much pleasure congratulate your Lordship on 
the appointment to Salisbury, long may you live to enjoy it. I never felt more 
satisfaction than at the moving the late Bishoji of Salisbury to Durham. I was 
standing by the good Bishop when the noble Marquis came forward to -praise 
himself and abuse others, which is often the mode of his debate — we are often 
hurt by the aid of ill-judging friends, and sometimes bcnclited by the malevolence 
of a wrong-headed enemy, this rellcetion struck me at the time, and I could not 
help expressing it so to the Bishop, the present nomination is most creditable 
to the Bishop, and honourable to our Dear Sovereign, I wish many of his Subjects 
acted on the same noble principles. While I am rejoicing over your Ldp. I 
cannot but mourn over the misfortunatc King and Queen of I'Vance, that Country 
must deluge in blood. I hope our meeting on the 14th of July will not be a 
respectable one ; I wish our mob may rise and pelt them, I dont desire a brick 
bat at the head of Earl Wm. Stanhop, but I do wish his Ldp. a dead cat well 
powdered with dirt. My best Compts. to Mrs. and Miss Douglas. I am ever 
with much regard and respect, My dear Lord, Your most obedient humble 
servant, Fiie.' 

To Bishop Douglas 

'RIaii Lodge, June 6th, 1701. 
' My dear Lord, — Will you excuse the trouble of this letter to inquire after 
Mrs. Douglas and your Ldp. I am keeping this day not with the Windsor 
magnilieenee, but you shall not exceed us in mirth and natural beauty. I have 
near two hundred at dinner ; you Lords and great ones are sure of a good 
dinner, but my friends would not have been in the same situation, had I been 
with you — they are all highlanders ; as most of them speak Gaelic, I confess I 
do not understand all their humer, but we have all drunk the King and Queen's 
health, both in English and Galie, we arc above 0000 feet nearer heaven than 
Windsor, so we look down upon you ; they are all now (hmeing in the Eingal 
stile, and I realy wish their majestys in the Chairs upon the Lawn to see how 
lia])py they are, it is such a contrast to the Ball room at St. James's, that I am 
certain it would amuse them. I have never been here at this Season, as this is 
my shooting habitation, and I am certain no part of Switzerland can shew 
nature in greater magnificence and variety. I leave this to-morrow after having 

?.V' ,t'^\^ <»os«v>>» (^ I 


I'lijoycd Mr' lu'ut uikI line Sky of Itnly, this I'l.icc: );iys in llic very huud of Abcr- 
(Itcnsliiiv, llu; liiyiicsl, j^nniiids in Sculliuul. My IcUcr will \k- of ;in old tliiU-, 
us it, is only lo ff> lo the I'ost. luwn next Tucsduy. Jf your Ldp. directs to me, 
Diil'f House by JJnnff, and eoiu'ey nic good aeeounis of your lieallh it. will mncli 
oblige. — -Your devoted, etc., etc., Fife. 

' I could not help observing the 21st Psalm the service of this day how 
applicable : ' He asked life of Thee and Thou gavcst him a long life.' 

2'o Bishop Douglas ^ 

'Mau Lodge, 3rd June 1805. 

' My dear Loud, — I was unlucky enough to call at the Hotel in Pall Mall 
and was sorry to hear you had gone out to \Vindsor, but it gave me pleasure to 
be informed you was well. I intended to have stayed the Birthday, but received 
the melancholy accounts of the Death of a favourite Brother.^ 

' I was very happy to see the King look so, and that he now attends to what 
may contribute to his health and amusement which I hope will prolong his life. 
I was here the first Birthday after his illness which fell on a Sunday, the Psalm 
of tlie Service of the day particularly struck me. I wrote to your Lordship 
and gave j-ou the description of the manner I kept the Birthday next day. I 
am to do the same to-morrow, and I have sent to all the Country people round 
to meet on the large Lawn before the Lodge, where they shall have good Boiled 
and Roast an excellent Tub of Punch a Fiddle and a Pipe it will be a very differ- 
ent scene from the Ball at Windsor, my Ladies will all have Petticoats, but some 
of my Gentlemen will be sans coulotes, my Ball and Feast is not only Loyal but 
Charitable as they probably would have got no dinner had I not been there. 

' I leave this the 5tli to go to Duff House. Two thirds of my Tenants in this 
part of the Country are Roman Catholics, but they dont think themselves slaves, 
and therefore require no Emancipation, I am very glade that Question was 
properly disjjoscd of ; whoever moves it, whether a Pitt or a Granville, shall 
never get credit from me that they bring it forward from Religious Principles, 
for I hope never to see Catholics but subservient to the Established Church, 
and never have a share in the Political Government of the Country. 

' If you see his Majesty will you have the goodness to say that my prayers 
are put up for his health and happiness. Evei-y good wish to your son and 
Family. I remain always with nuieh respect antl regard, my dear Lord, Your 
most t)bt: humble Scrsant, Fife.' 

To Warren Hastings 

'Fife House, 2Bth Mar. 1804. 
' Deak Sir, — I sat yesterday to Mr. Cosway and shall sit again to him 
to-morrow. It will give me great pleasure to hear that you recover your hearing 

' Only tigueil by Lord Fife, the rest written by an amanuensis. • Artiiur. 


»fi>ft^ v)t'H>!jiii yHft < 



wliicli I llallci' myscir ))r()(TC'(l.s only from culd ;iiiil iiuiy be easily removed. 
Wliile I li\e 1 sliiill luver forjfet tlie impression you made on my minil from liio 
lirsL day you appearetl aL llie liar of Llie House of Commons till tlie day you was 
relieved from Westminster Hall. Whatever you might feel at that time for not 
receiving grateful returns for public services, your countenance assured me of a 
consolation in your own mind that your conduct had been such as to ensure 
the approbation of that Tribunal which is above all. Often did I wish to state 
my abhorrence of the illiberal persecution which came from the manager's box, 
so much abilities were, I believe, never directed against an object, and I do 
confess with all the interest I took for you, I had not the courage to draw the 
abuse from that box against myself. 

' I am always with great respect and regard. Dear Sir, Your most obedient 
humble servant, Fife.' 

And one from the cousin of his brother's wife. See next chapter. 
George Skene,^ Scotland Yard, to Lord Fife 

'28 June 1803. 

' My Lord, — As your Lordship has condescended to grant me permission, 
I will avail myself of the opportunity of writing to your Lordship when any 
thing occurs which according to my apprehension can afford your Lordship 
the smallest amusement. 

' Ilcr Grace of Gordon - has made very free with your Lordsps. house, which I 
am afraid will bear the marks and ravages of her frequent Balls. An immense 
company were dancing at Fife House till six o'clock this morning, about which 
hour the ladies departed half stupid with fatigue and dissipation, and their 
naked arms dangling out of their carriage windows. The rattling of carriages 
all night, together with the singing, swearing and squabbling of drunken coach- 
men prevented any sleeping in the neighbourhood and gave us just cause to 
regret that we had returned from Windsor where we had seen their i\Iajesties 
walking on the Terrace with most of their family behind them, forming a strange 
contrast to the midnight orgies of her Grace. 

' The King seems in high health and spirits, and is said to be much attached 
to the Addington administration. 

' In the House of Lords the Debate about the Clergy Residence Bill much 
acrimonious language passed between the Chancellor and Lord Grenville — lan- 
guage, which I think cannot easily be forgotten or forgiven by either of the 

' I have this day received a letter from my Brother Alex^ of the Lapwing 
Frigate, stating that he is now at sea, bound to Newfoundland, with two men of 
war and a valuable Convoy under his command, and hoping for my sake and his 

' See page 193. ' Jane Maxwell. 


tnvii, he will t:iko ?iinny prizes. — I have (In: lioiioiif (o ))c, l\(y Lciid, Yotiv 
liui(lslij|>'s iiiosL lniiiiMc and niosl. scrvuiil;, (^KoiKiK Skkni;. 

' TIio principal suppi-r Tabic used last nijrjit at llic Duchess of Gordon's was 
forty-two feet long and eight wide ; down the center was a plateaux of flowers 
and framework. ' (IJ.) 

Note. —From the niHss of corrcs|)oii(Ienco written aiul rect-ived by .fames, second Lord 
Fife, and preserved citlier l)y Iiis family or hy bis factor, William Hose, it has been some- 
what difficult to select, but it is hoi)ed that those letters printed above are interesting 
enough in themselves to justify their insertion, and give a fairly complete picture of a 
delightful personality. 


f -^rhl^J 

rfr| „ 




Alexander, the third Earl Fife, the third son of William, first Earl Fife, 
was born in 1731. Being a younger son, with little likelihood of succeed- 
ing to the title, it was necessary for him to make his way in the world. lie 
was at first educated at home with his elder brother James, by Mr. Abel, 
minister of Rothiemay, who acted as their private tutor. Later on, he 
was at St. Andrews University, and his name is to be found in the Roll of 
Alumni of that University in 1748. He subsequently studied law and 
became an advocate at Aberdeen, where most of his life was passed, though 
he made frequent journeys to Edinburgh on legal business. But he had 
some experience of foreign travel, as we find him writing to his father from 
Brussels, in 175G, an account of an accident to his leg, M'hich a quack 
doctor informed him woidd have to be cut off. Fortunately another 
doctor's advice was procured, and the threatened amputation did not take 
place. In 1757 he was in London, and in another letter to liis father, 
referring to Frances Dalzell, liis brother George's wife, he writes that she 
will not be persuaded to live in Scotland, and patriotically adds that he 
is sure her determination proceeded from not knowing the country, and 
from being misinformed with regard to it, while lie concludes with the 

K'linoiiU'-.iiu ;jiii&«ji luoi'l 


slatciiicnt lliiit ' lOiif^Iisli l;ulii's liavc imrcasoiiablc piTJiidiccs against our 
tu)i-liicrii region, wl)ic'li llicy wiLli (lilliciilty evor get over.' 

On his return to Scotland I'roni England in 1757 Alexander was re- 
quested by his father to visit his brother Lewis at Cambridge, the latter 
being then in residence at St. Jolni's College. Here, at his lather's desire, 
Alexander administered to his brother a severe rel)ukc on his conduct and 

Alexander was one ol' the few Duffs who have been really musical, 
and played well. When living at Rothiemay he was devoted to the 
violin, and he would constantly go over to visit his musical neighbour, the 
Rev. Mr. Stronach. The violin whicli he used is now in the possession of 
the present writers. 

Having settled in Aberdeen in practice as an advocate, Alexander Duff 
spent most of his life in or near that town. Amongst other cases in which 
he was engaged, was the action brought in 17G1 by Captain John Gordon 
of Park against John, William, and Jean Gordon, the children of Sir William 
Gordon of Park, whose estate was forfeited owing to his having taken part 
in the Jacobite rising of 1745. 

' The Hon. Alexander Duff married at Carcston, 17th Aug. 1775, Mary 
Skene, eldest daughter of George Skene of that Ilk ' {Aberdeen Journal). 
Resides being the possessor of the Skene property, George Skene also 
owned the estate of Carcston in Forfarshire. He had married the beauti- 
ful IMary Forbes ^ of Alford, who Avas deaf and dumb ; she died at Carcston, 
March 15, 1780. By her he had seven children, namely, George Skene, 
known as ' The Last Laird,' Avho died in 1825 ; James, David, and 
Andrew, who all died without issue before 1825 ; Alexander, wlio was deaf, 
dumb, and nearly blind, and was known as ' Dumbie Skene ' — he was the 
nominal possessor of the estate from 1825 to 1827, when he died ; Mary, 
who married Alexander Duff ; and Sarah, married T. Macdonald, ^V.S. 
' The Last Laird,' George Skene, erected in the groimds of Skene 
House- a monument to his dogs, with this inscription: 

' Tartar, Fury, Ginger, Viper, Bess, Vixen, MufTie, etc., etc. 
' My faithful dogs, by whose inviolable attachment I have been induced to 
banish from my mind for a time the disgust occasioned by the Vices, Follies and 

' From the portrait in the possession of the present writers it appears that Mary Skene did 
not inherit these good looks, and slie herself writes to Lord Fife about a piece of silk he was 
sending her for a gown, that she will need a full quantity, ' for wliat I have not in height I have 
in breadth.' 

' It was in the library of this mansion that the original MSS. were preserved. A History of 
the Troubles in Scolhiiiil and in England, from the year of God 1O24 to the year of God 1645, by John 
Spalding, clerk of the Commissary Court of .\berdcen, from which the Spalding Club edition 
was prinlc-d. 



Ingratitude of Mankind. They never anticipated Evil. A Sad Reverse is 
the Fate of Man. 

'Cur non. G. S., ISOS.' 

His first cousin, also a George Skene, was executed for forgery in 1812. 
In the Gentleman s Magazine, under date j\Iarch 18, 1812, occurs the follow- 
ing : ' This morning, Jlr. George Skene, late chief clerk of Queen Square 
Police Office, who was convicted of having forged certain receipts for the 
purpose of defrauding the Treasury, was executed pursuant to his sentence, 
(ircat interest had been used to pardon him, but on the Friday preceding 
he was informed tliat iie had no mercy to expect. ]\Ir. Skene was a member 
of a most respectable family in the north of Scotland, and was next heir 
to the large property of Skene of Skene.' ^ 

Upon the death of JMary Skene's last surviving brother in 1827 the 
splendid estates of Carcston and Skene came into the hands of the Fife 
family, in whose possession the latter remained for over fifty years. 
Carcston was sold in 1871 for £18-i,000, and Skene to Mr. Hamilton in 
ISSO, on the basis of a rental of £2900. 

By ^lary Skene, Alexander Duff had the following children : ^ 

1. James, born 1770; afterwards the fourth Earl Fife. 

2. Alexander, born 1777 ; afterwards General Sir Alexander Duff. 

3. George, born 1779; died 1781. 

4. Jane, born 1780 ; married Major A. F. Tayler. 

5. Anne, born 1781 ; married Richard Wharton Duff. 

6. Mary, born 1787 ; died young. 

7. Sakaii, born 1790 ; married, 1807, Daniel Collyer of Wroxham, 

Norfolk; died 1811. 

Both the boys were brought up by their uncle, the second Earl, 
and the two following letters from Alexander and his wife refer to their 
departure from home and their early days with their uncle. 

Alexander Dttff to William Rose, factor, at Montcojfer House, Banff 

'MousEnAi.K, Feb. i^rd, 1783. 

' SiK, — Lord Fife jn'oposcd some time ago, lliat we should send oia- two 

boys to Mr. Chapman at Inelidiewer, and from what I heard of Mr. Cliapniau's 

character I thought they would be very well with liini. Lord Fife wi'ites last 

Post, that you have settled every thing with him, and that he only wants to know 

' His four brothers all died without issue. 

• His Family Bible, giving above dates, is in the possession of the present writers. 


. 31<{. Otlt-IO 


the time that they are to be brought to him. I think that the middle of April 
will be as projKT a time as any, as the ■\veatluT tlien will probably be turning 
good, so yon will be so good as acquaint l\Ir. Chapman of that time, and I shall 
be glad to hear from you as soon as convenient. Mrs. Uuff joins me in her 
Com])limcnts to you and Jlrs. Rose, and I am, Sir, Your most humble servt., 

' Alexr. Duff.' 

On the same sheet there is also a letter from Alexander Duff's wife, 
Mary : 

' I have added this to Mr. Duff's letter to beg of you to let me know if Jlr. 
Chapman would aprove of washing coats for the boys ; they have red short 
coats for dress, but was proposing to give each two washing ones of thin cloth ; 
every other thing shall be pro\ided only five of each, as they are growing. 
Sandy will require great attention on acct. of his [illegible] otherwise he is stronger 
than Jamie, he had a complaint too some time ago, a stress he had got crying, 
and the only thing I am afraid of is, their figliLing with boys, which cannot 
always be attended to, and that I am siu'e woidd be improper for both, but 
Janu'e eould not bear it, but any body who has the care of Children will enquire 
into those things — knowing that bojs are a])! lo fight, and I am sure my Lf)i'd 
would not jiropose sending them any way but where they would meet with 
attention — other matters can be adjusted when we cany them there. — With 
best Compts., I am, sir, yours, etc., Mary Duff. 

' To AVilliam Rose, at IMontcoffer, Banff.' (0.) 

Mary Skene to James, second Earl Fife 

'AiiKiinKKN, 20/^ Jan. 178-1. 
' My Lord, — We had the Honor of your Lordship's letters at Old i\Ieldrum, 
had only got that length then and now when we have got to Aberdeen will be 
obliged to walk home — no Chaise can go. I am afraid I will tire — however I 
am to attempt it. Your letter surprised me. I am ashamed at the trouble 
you give yourself with the children. We need not be anxious about them when 
they are in so good hands. I will certainly write Mrs. Rose. I am to blame for 
not doing it sooner — am obliged to your Lordshi]) giving me a hint — she was 
\ery attentive to them. My mind is quite at rest. Sandy's belt will need to 
rtiuaiii till he be free of his Complaint. Your Lordship has power to do with 
them what you like. We wish nuieh to sec you — as you pass — to write a note 
to care of Alexr. Leslie with orders to send it to Ilousedale in ease we should not 
get it in time. Mr. Duff joins me in best Conipls. to your Lordship, and I am, 
with esteem. Your affect, and Obt. sert., BLvry Duff.' (R.) 

Upon James, the elder, coming of age, his uncle allowed hiiu £500 a 
year, not a very lavish provision for the heir to such vast estates. James 
was a great friend of the Prince Regent, and lived much at Court, where lie 


Ai.,E.XA.KDEH. Durr.THi RD ■j::aui. Firr, 

."^1/ Ah-c,,,./,; 


early began his career of extravagance and debt. Tlie old Earl is said to 
have remarked, ' Eh, but Jamie nmst be a very clever boy to do all that on 
£500 a year.' 

Upon his father's death in 1763, Alexander Duff inherited the estate of 
Echt in Aberdeenshire, -where formerly his uncle, William Baird of Auch- 
meddcn, author of The Genealogical Meinoirs of the Duffs, had been con- 
cealed when prosecuted for his share in the rising of 1745. 

Upon the estate of Echt was the dwelling of Houscdalc. In the View 
of the Diocese of Aberdeen we find ' Echt — Housedale, a neat little house 
with a good park about it, all newly raised by Forbes of Echt, younger, 
but sold in 1730 to Dull' of Braeo.' 

Alexander, as we have said, lived chiefly in Aberdeen, where several 
of his children were born, but he also rcsiiled occasionally at Ilouscdale, 
and here many of his relations came to visit him, and the iilacc is often 
alluded to in the family correspondence. Subsequent to his disposal of 
the estate of Echt, he inhabited Kingeaussie on Dccside, and from this 
house his elilcst daughter was married to Major A. F. Tayler in ISO'2. In 
ISOl, after the sale of Echt, he had executed a liond of provision for his 
younger children (his eldest son James being heir-prcsumjitive to the 
earldom of Fife). He left £-1000 each to his second son, Alexander Duff, 
and to his daughters Jean and Anne Duff, and £1000 to Sarah. 

In 1809 his elder brother James, second Earl of Fife, died, and Alex- 
ander Duff succeeded to the title of Lord Fife in the peerage of Ireland ; 
the English peerage, which had been conferred on his brother and heirs- 
male of his body, becoming extinct. The third Earl Fife then went to 
live at Duff House, but he did not long enjoy his honours, for in April 1811 
he was seized with a sudden illness, and ' died at Duff House after only a 
few (lays confinement,' on the IGth of the nionth, aged eighty. lie was 
buried in the mausoleum at Duff House. Tliree portraits of him used to 
hang in Duff House, one as a boy, two others in later life ; there was 
also a portrait at Orton, and the present writers own another. 

Ilis wife predecease<l him in 1790.' 

His eldest daughter Jean, who married Major A. F. Tayler, had eight 
children : 

1. Alexander Duff, born 1803 ; died 1809, from an accident. 

2. Anne Frances, born 1801 ; died 1808, from an accident. 

3. William James, born 1809 ; married, in 1864, his cousin Georgina 
Lucy, daughter of Admiral Norwich Duff, and was father of the present 

' He left one natural son, Alexander Duff, who married, in 1783, Sophia Gill, the daughter 
of a merchant captain, and had issue. 


> H'i'A:?rr 


writers. Mr. Taylcr died in 188G, and his wife in ISOG. lie had purchased 
the estate of Glenbany,^ previously connected with tiie Duff family. 

4. Jane Marion, born 1810 ; married Doctor Dawson ; died 18G9. 

5. James George, born 1811 ; married Mary Anne Duncan ; died 1875. 
G. Alexander Francis, born 1814 ; died 1828. 

7. George Skene, born 1816 ; Commander R.N. ; married Anna Maria 
Scott ; he died 1894. 

8. Hay Utterson, l)orn 1819; died 1903. 

Three of the above children, namely, Alexander Duff, Alexander Francis, 
and Hay Utterson, were born deaf and dumb — a sad inheritance from their 
great-grandmother, Mary Forbes, wife of George Skene. The eldest 
Alexander Duff died at the age of six, from an accident alluded to in the 
following letter from his father. The unfortunate child, while pressing 
close to look at his new-born brother, was roughly pushed aside by the 
nurse, and fell into a bath of boiling water. 

Major A. F. Taijler to Ids sister 

' Dl'if HoiSE, 25 July 180D. 

' My dear Bessie, — The letter which I wrote on Saturday was too late for 
the post of tliat night I therefore sent it to Aberdeen early next morning by 
Dr. Skene who expected to be there before the South post went out, and if so 
you will have got it duly. The Doctor had been sent for express when the 
symptoms of Alexander's disorder from the accident assumed so dangerous an 
apjicaranee and remained with him until that time. I am happy to say that 
things go on better. The poor little fellow is amazingly reduced in strengtii, 
but his pulse which for some time was hardly to l)e felt, and was afterwards for 

' The Abbey of Deer was founded in 1219 by \\'illiam, first Earl of Buchan (died 1233), 
and the lands of Barre in Strathisla were acquired by the monks by subsequent grants of their 
munificent founders. These lands were granted to the monks in free forest, with the right o£ 
cutting timber (for the building and repair of the monastery) in the woods, wliicli in that age 
seem to have stretched around the base of the Knock-hill. 

In the year 1449 the lands of Barre were feued by the Abbot of Deer to the first Lord 
Saltoun, and were in 1557 given to John Abernethie, third son of the then Lord Saltoun, from 
whom the Abernethies of Mayen descended. 

The Abernethies ' took entries ' from the Lord Marischall until October 28, 1712, when 
sasine was granted to 'William Dul=f,only son to the deceased James Duff of Cromby of the 
lands of Barry and the Shank of Barry with houses, biggins, yards, crofts, moss, muirs, etc., 
and haill universall pertinents of the samen, lying in the Parochin of Aberchirdcr and sheriff- 
dom of Banff' (Banffshire Sasines). 

In 1773 Dutf of Crombie sold the lands to Peter Gordon of Ardmeallie, his brother-in-law, 
who again sold them to John Morison of Auchintoul, son of Alexander Morison of Bognie. 
They then passed into the hands of Grant of Auchorachan, who sold them in 1853 to tha 
late William James Tayler. 


:i lcnf,'t!i of time at one hundred and 60, is now reduced to about a hundred. Tlie 
licalinj; process seems t<j have eoinnieneed, and lie begins to take a considerable 
quantity of milk which of itself must be nourishing — he latterly has now iiiid 
then taken a strawberry or gooseberry, and oeeasionally a little morsel of bread 
in tea. Wine, you know, always was his aversion, ^ and to this disinclination 
he had nearly fallen a sacrifice. The Medical people say that nothing but the 
most wonderful energy of his constitution could have enabled him to undergo 
what he has suffered. 

' Should he reccner, which after so wonderful an exertion I hope he yet may, 
you will be happy to learn that he will be in no shiipe disfigured or lamed in any 
manner by the consequences of the scald. 

' Lady Jane has recovered wonderfully from the anxiety she suffertd. With 
nuich dilTieulty she was jjcrsuaded entirely to relinquish the nursing (she was 
witness to the accident), she could not have continued it without I he greatest 
risk to the health of the infant.^ lie continues to thrive and is pretty li%'ely and 
stout. Lady Jane has not been downstairs except when the accident happi'ned, 
at which time she ran down in a frenzy for assistance. SIic however ^\■alks about 
the suite of apartments whith are on the same lloor. She has just now come into 
tiic room and joins me in kindest wishes. — Yours most affectionately, 

' A. I'. 

' Half past eight o'clock. Just after I had finished my letter we were nmeh 
alarmed by a discharge of blood from Alexander's mouth.' 

He died the next day. The family were then staying at Duff House 
with Lady Jane's aged father, who had only recently succeeded to the title. 

Alexander Francis was well educated, could speak after a fashion, and 
understood Frcncli and Latin. He died of the after effects of measles at 
the age of fourteen.'' 

The following letter from him is in the possession of the present writers. 
He was seven years old at the time of writing : 

' IloTuiEnjfAY, lO^A Sept. 1821. 

' My dear Aunt, — I hope you and Grandmother are very well— I hope you 
will be write a Letter to mc very soon. Uncle George shot eleven Eraees to-day. 

' Papa and I went in the gig to Huntly to-day. My's wrist is better to-day. 
I, Papa and William will be go to sec you soon. I think that you arc very glad 
to see us. Dr. MeColl got his leg broke by the kick of a horse. I think that you 
knew Dr. MeColl. 

' What is the name of the boy that was nearly drowned when bathing. ^Vith 
kind wishes from all at Kothiemay to you and Grandmother. — I remain, Yours 
truly, Alexanueii Fuancis Tayler.' 

' Not surprising at six years o£ age. ' W. J. Tayler, then a fortnight old. 

• Both these children are buried in the mausoleum at Duff House. 

U: i>-.<\. ..: •')'. .tl.i ' 


In consequence of the early dcatlis of her two other alllicted children. 
Lady Jane could not be persuaded to part with her youngest son until 
lie had attained the age of twenty, and he therefore never learned to speak, 
but he talked rapidlj' on his fingers and carried on long conversatioiis on 
paper, many of which he kept. lie lived for many years in London with 
the family of the late Dr. Watson, who had been charged with his belated 
education. He was very independent in his habits until extreme old age, 
and was well known in old book and print shops, where he spent a good deal 
of money, not always wisely. He died at the age of eighty-four, and is 
buried at Hastings. 

No other instance of deaf-mutism has occurred among the descendants 
of IMary Skene. ^ 

A good many of Alexander Duff's letters have been preserved. 

Alexander Dttffto his father 

'Pauis, 30//1 Mai/ 1755. 

Dk. Papa, — I arrived at Paris upon Sunday last. 1 would have wrote 
sooner, but could not got myself settled berorc this time. My Brother and me 
left London together, he went the length of Calais with me staid there only a 
few hours and set out for BrusscUes — I delivered my letter of credit as soon as 
I came here to Mr. Sclwin and gave him a Bill upon you for £100. I only re- 
ceived '2'200 li\Tes from him, he deducted the rest which amoimts to 200 livrcs 
for exchange. I thought it very high and was surprised to have my money so 
curtailed, but he told me it was ye common rate of Exchange betwixt this and 
Scotland. I shall fairly give you an account of my general and necessary 
expcnces from which you '11 be able to judge of my allowance — I lodge just now 
d rilotcl de Sai'c, line de Colomhier which is reckoned one of ye cheapest lodging 
places in Paris. I cannot possibly have tolerable apartcments for myself and 
sei'vant under 8 guineas a month. I cannot eat cheaper than 7 guineas a month. 
My dancing, fencing, riding, musick and French Masters will cost me about 12 
guineas pr. Month and my servant's board wages at half a guinea a week amounts 
to 2 guineas. Nt)W with regard to Cloaths I have consulted and taken ye advice 
ot people who know these tilings and they tell me lliat it will cost nie 00 pound 
Stirling at least before I can appear genteely in that article. I 'm sure I do not 
exaggerate anything but candidly set down what is absolutely necessary, and I 
dare say from this account which I have given you you '11 perceive that my £100 
especially after the deduction will be soon run out and I Iiojie you Ml be so good 
cither to give tiie a general Klter of credit or if you don't incline that, I expect 
youll give me credit for £200 by fu-st opportunity, for / assure you before I can 
receive your aiisiver I 'II be run near. Once I have got well settled, and am pro- 

' The children of Alexander Duff's daufjliter Anne will be found la the chapter entitled 
' Wharlon Dulls.' 


vidcd in Cloaths and other necessaries I '11 be able to live much clieaper, but the 
having everything to jiurchase at lirst youll be sensible iinist unavoidably cost 
money. 1 shall endeavour to improve myself in everything us will as I can, 
and put to ye best advantage the indulgence you have been so kind as to shew 
me. My affectionate Duty to all ffriends and believe mc to be, Dr. Papa, Your 
most affectionate and dutiful son Avhilc Alexr. Duff.' (D.) 

To the same 

'1'ahis, Jii/jj 4lli, 1755. 

' Dr. Papa,— This is the third letter I have wrote you since I came here 
without any answer from you which makes me think my letters have miscarried. 
I design to set out from this in iivc or six days for Lyons. I 'in told there is a 
very good Academy there, and very few or none of our Countrymen in that ])lace. 
I 'm advised to stay ;ibout three or four months at Lyons and return to I'aris 
in the winter in order to compleat myself in the different exercises — besides they 
speak the French here with a more true and just accent than elsewhere. I will 
likewise have the benefit at Paris of attending the Parliament and ye pleadings 
in the Chatelet which is certainly a great advantage to one in my way. I have 
gone to these courls since I came here pretty frequently, but in the winter time 
they have more business and their pleadings consequently more various than in 
the sunmier. It is rather more tedious for mc to attend these Courts than the 
Court of Session because I know but little of the French law ; however I have 
got some books wherein the principles of the Fi'ench law are laid down, and I am 
acquainted with a good many of the avocats who are so obliging as to instruct 
me in the forms. I '11 be glad to hear from you as soon as your convenieney 
will permit and believe me to be with all possible esteem, Dr. Pa|)a, Your most 
affectionate and dutiful son, Alkxk. Dujf.' {D.) 

To the same 

' London, Aprile. r,th, ] 767. 
' JIy Lord, — Upon my coming to Town, I was informed of Lewis misfortune, 
and of the bad slate of health he was then in. I imagined that my Eldest 
Brother had acquainted you of his situation long ago. I never have seen him 
since I left Scotland, but from all accounts he was very ill, though I believe 
that he is at present a good deal better. The Country air would ecrlainly be of 
great service to him, and I think the sooner he removes from Cambridge the 
better, as they tell me his studys goe on but slowly there, and the company he 
keeps none of the best, I 'm sure he must be strangely altered, since I had the 
pleasure of seeing him, for at that time I 'm certain he had not the least pro- 
pensily to any kind of vice, and I'm jiersuailcd he's been led into it by the 
■wicked Company at Cambridge, and not by his own natinal disposition. I\Iy 
brother George talks of his being in Scotland. I suppose he has wrote you of 


liis marriaf,'(.', lie has luii made; it ])ii))lic:k as yit for irasoiis wliicli arc known l.o 
liiiiisilf and liis wife is sLill called Miss ])al/.<li. J (li(\v upon yon ycsl.crday for 
£50, ytjii 'Jl may bi; lliink tin: last was i-allicr loo soon sp<;nt, Lady Margaret's 
death jnit nic to an extraordinaiy cxpeuce, as I was obhgcd to have a black 
suit ol Cloaths and a grey Frock for wearing in ye morning, both which amounted 
to about £20 including a hat, stockings, a mourning sword, Ituflles, etc., etc. — 
I am with great duty and resjicct, Your most affectionate son, 

' Alkxr. Duff.' (0.) 

To his mother 

'AuKllDEENj DfC. lll/l, 1703. 

' Dn. JIadam, — I liad the pleasure of yours some time ago. I would have 
answer'd it sooner had anything entertaining oecurcd here since your going 
South. If this place docs not abound with 2Hibliek Diversions, to make up they 
are the most hospitable pcojjje liere I ever saw there has not a day jiass'd but I 
liave been invited to dine or sup somewhere or another, I 'm very often oblig'd 
to decline their kind Invitations, in order to endulge my present scheme of 
Ixegularity — the horse came back here in good healtli and after keeping him a 
day or two I dispos'd of him. I have been drinking ass milk for some time past, 
1 was oblig'd to buy one from Lady Premnay wliich cost inc four pound ten. 
I find it does mc much good as I am greatly better since taking it. I was out 
at Edit last week and din'd with Auchmeden, he tells lyie he intends taking a 
house at St. Andrew's. They Iiad a great plot to make me stay all night in 
order to teize about some idle scheme or another, but I grew j)ositive and went 
back here that night. I intend going to lialquholly about Christmas and after 
staying tliere some time shall come l)aek to this jilace which is really more 
agrecabk' than one could imagine. AVe ha\'e an assembly. Concert and Card 
Electing every week, so much for publick Diversions. I saw Sir Arthur Forbes 
here yesterday who told me he saw you at Fdin''. I have nothing more to add 
but always am, D"" Madam, your most aff Son, Alexk. Duff.' (0.) 

To Jiis brother James 

' JIovsEDAi.K, Augt. -Writ, 1775. 

' My Lord,— 7 have the pleasure to inform you that I was marryd at Careston 
t(pon Thursday last. We stayd there only Friday and we came here Saturday 
night. Mrs. Duff and me will be extremely happy to liave the pleasure of seeing 
you here when convenient. I did not insist with Skene about what you men- 
tioned we will make a shift to live upon what we have, it is only borrowing a 
little in the meantime till the Portion falls due. I always am, my Lord, your 
most affectionate Prother and humble Sert., Alexr. Duff. (D.) 

' To the Kight Iloiilile. the Earl of Fife at Mar Lodge, 
Care of ^Mr. William Rose, Banff.' 

i>*|/l ^{» ,itm na^U: Juii 


Alexander Duff to his brother, Arthur Duff 

' AiiKiiDKENj 2nd December 1775. 

' Dear Arthur, — I had the pleasure of your's last post, Mrs. Duff is much 
obliged to you for your kind Remembrance, the Dog and Songs arrived here 
yesterday with the Grapes, but the Dog, poor creature was quite wore out with 
the fatigue at Sea, and died this morning. John Gordon is not yet come here, 
I heard some time ago that he was at Sunderland, it seems he wrote to Mr, 
Wharton for some money who I fancy has refused him by his drawing upon 
Mr. Maekie. I shall follow your advice in avoiding him as much as possible. 
I 'm much oblig'd to you for the trouble you take about the Chaise which you 
may send when bought by any of the Aberdeen smacks, you '11 send me an 
account of what it costs you, and I shall remit it after the Aberdeen term along 
with what I owe you already. We came here about 8 days ago and stay till 
Christmas when we intend going to Rothiemay to stay some weeks, and after 
that we will probably remain here all the spring. There is nothing new in this 
part of the Country. This town is tolerably gay just now, we have an assembly 
once a fortnight and a Concert once a Week, and a good deal of feasting. Lord 
and Lady Buchan sjjend the Winter here, I heard but an indifferent Character 
of my Lord, I have been two or three time in Company with him and really think 
they have done him Injustice, he seems to be intelligent in a number of things 
and is very affable and good humour'd, he says he was acquainted with you at 
Glasgow. I had a very hard Day of it yesterday at the County Club, Sir William 
Forbes was Proses, who is lately come home from his travels. I '11 be glad to 
hear from you at your Convenience, as London affords more matter for a letter 
than almost any other place. The cold rages here most violently. Mrs. Duff 
has been very ill of it for these two or three days past, but is now growing better. 
Be so good as make my Compliments to George and Lewis and make the best 
apology you can for not writing them, as I cannot find one myself, I fancy 
it will be best to write them under your Cover. I 'm afraid you will hardly get 
this scrawl read, my pen is so bad. Mrs. Duff joins me in kind Compliments 
and I always am. Dr. Arthur, Your most affectionate Brother, 

' Alexr. Duff. 

' r.S. — As I will probably receive yc rcinaindcr of my money from Lord 
Fife at yc term shall I give it him up, or keep it till you come to yc Country as 
you arc eventually concern'd in it ? ' (0.) 

Alexander Duff to his brother James 

' IIousKDAi-E, April 29th, 1777. 
' My TiOiU), — I had the pleasure of your's yesterday. ]\Irs. Duff and me 
arc much obliged to you for the trouble you take with regard to our room, it 
will certainly be furnished in a better taste then we could have done it ourselves. 


This is an unlurkij time for laying new taxes upon ns cnnmlcring the low price of 
meal. I have iu)L sold mine yet 8 shillings is llic iiighcst price offering here, und 
I think it is better to keep it awhile than to let it go so ehc;ip. I went into 
Aberdeen the other day as a witness against a Mason whom I cmj^loycd who stole 
several things fi-om me. I wanted last year to have got him tryd before the 
Circuit Court, but the Advocate Depute thought projDer to be of opinion that 
it was too trifling a cause to come before that Court, so he was tryd yesterday 
before the Sheriff at the instance of the Prov. Fiscal, but after the clearest proof 
of the theft and the unanimous verdict of the jury finding him guilty the great 
-punishment of banishing him the County of Aberdeen was inflicted upon him, 
I think a little flogging into the Bargain would not have been improper. I own 
I was a good deal interested in this affair not for the value of the things stolen, 
but I thought that a workman employ^ about one's house acting in that manner 
dcserv'l a greater punishment. Mrs. Duff joins mc in best compliments, and 
I always am, My Lord, your most affectionate Brother, 

' Alexr. Duff.' {D.) 

To the same 

' HOUSEDALE, Nov' 12, 1778. 

' My Lord, — I never was more affected with anything than with the melan- 
cholly accounts of poor Lady Helen's death. She certainly was one of the best 
creatures that ever existed and behaved in every situation in life so irreproach- 
ably as made it impossible for malice itself to speak ill of her. The Poor Admiral 
is much to be pitied, for he certainly is deprived of an affectionate agreeable 
companion and who was always most attentive to him. We had the honour 
of a visit lately from the Duke of Gordon, his Grace came here with Lord Iladdo 
and staid a night with us, he is very easy and affable, and was remarkably kind 
to us at Gordon Castle. It is much easier entertaining the like of him than a 
number of country Lairds or Aberdeen Merchants — I 'm sorry wc have not had 
the pleasure of seeing you since you came to y^ country, we will be glad either 
to see you at Duff House when convenient, or if you could come here on your 
way to London. I did not joke in the least, when I wrote you that there would 
be little or nothing remaining of Mrs. Duff's portion after clearing all my debts, 
but however we will make a shift to live pretty comfortably as my Estate will 
be quite ffree ; and as none of us are of an expensive turn. Mrs. Duff and the 
children are in good health, she is in a fair way of producing something more — 
she joins mc in best Comp**, and I always remain, My Lord, your most affec- 
tionate Brother, Alkxk. Duff.' (D.) 

To the same 

'IIousEDALK, Drccmher 1*, 1770. 
' Dear Loud, — Mrs. Duff and me intended to have gone to Duff House 
as we had not the pleasure of seeing you when last in Banffshire, but I believe 


it will be better to defer it till next year — I am obliged to be at Abd" the 21st 
and 22nd of this month but I will be at home any day either before or after that 
time that you please to appoint. I am very anxious to {i;cl the term over too as 
this is the greatest one I ever had, or I hope ever shall have, about £2400 to pay 
off is no triflle to a man of £500 a year and I have already got £500 of Mrs. Duff's 
portion so you see after elearing everything there will be no great remainder, 
however there is a hapiDincss in having one's Estate free and when that is the 
case a Person knows mueh better how to suit his expenses to his Income. The 
Laird of Skene must draw his Purse at Last and I dare say the money comes from 
Mm like Drops of Blood. He would have given it -with a much better grace 
immediately after the marriage which would have prevented me from borrowing 
in the meantime. There is no news here. I am informed that the Dutchess of 
Gordon intends to reside at Abd^ some time this winter, they say she comes 
along with the North fcneibles, who are to replace Lord JIcDonald's Rcgt. now 
at Ab". If that is true the town will be more gay as her Grace likes to create 
amusement wherever she is. They say that the Duke goes for London this 
winter. We design to go into Town about the end of January as it will be 
more convenient for I\Irs. Duff to lye in there than in the country being nearer 
help. When I saw Capt. Gordon, Park, last he told me he was informed that 
John Gordon was married in India that his wife's Father was a man in office there, 
that he was not rich but had a good deal of credit in the country and would be 
a great assistance to John in pushing him forward. If this be true you will 
have probably heard of it. Mrs. Duff joins me in best respects, and I always 
am, My Lord, your most affect. Brother, Alexr. Duff.' (D.) 

The letters of his later life, down to his death in 1811, are not of any 
interest. Owing to the short time during which he held the title and 
estates, he was not, like his brother James, the recipient of innumerable 
appeals from needy members of the family. 

He was succeeded by his eldest son, James, at that time with the 
army in Spain. 

(came into lord 




Jajies, fourth Earl Fife, eldest son of the third Earl, was born in his 
father's, the Laird of Eclit's, town house in Aberdeen, October G, 1776. His 
uncle, the second earl, having no cliildrcn, took him and his brother 
Alexander to Duff House in order to superintend their education, and sent 
them both to the school kept by Dr. Chapman at Inchdrcwer, near Banff. 
From there James Duff went to Westminster School ; ^ he was afterwards 
at Christchurch, Oxford, and on his return to London was entered as a 
student at Lincoln's Inn, and appears thus in the register : ' James Duff, 

• Montrose halted at Careston on his masterly retreat after the surprise at Dundee, 
April 4, 1645. It belonged at that time to Sir Alexander Carnegie, and is thus described by 
Ochtcrlony, a few years later : ' A great and most dclicat house, well built, brave lights, and 
of a most excellent contrivance, without dcbait, the best gentleman's house in the Shyrc.' 

' James Duff [aged fourteen) to his iincte, the Earl of Fife 

' Friday jlh, 1790. 
' My Loud, — I write you these few lines to inform you that the Holydays begin to-morrow, 
and I would be obliged to you if you would send to-morrow very soon as we come out of school 
at nine o'clock.— I am, Your aflectionatc Nephew, James Duff.' {D.) 


first son of Alexander Duff of Ilousedale, Co. Aberdeen ; entered April 9, 
ITOt.' At the same time lie took lessons in deelaiiiation from llannister 
the eomedian. In 179U Mr. Duff left his legal studies and joineil the Army 
on the Continent, subsequently proeeeding to the Congress at Radstadt. 
He returned to England in 1798, and in September 1799 he married Maria 
Caroline Manners, seeond daughter of Mr. Jolm Manners and his Avife, 
Lady Louisa, afterwards Countess of Dysart. He was shortly after 
appointed to command the Banff and Inverness Jlilitia, and brought the 
regiment to a high state of diseipline. Unfortunately his married life 
was of short duration ; it was during his residence in Edinburgh, in com- 
mand of his militia, that his wife died on December 20, 1805. Her death 
was caused by her being bitten or scratched on the nose by a pet New- 
foundland dog ; no particular notice was taken of this occurrence, although 
the animal shortly afterwards became moody and ill-tempered, and bit 
a groom, after which it Avas destroyed. 

It was only when ]\Irs. Duff became ill that the physicians formed a 
suspicion as to the probable origin of her malady. It was then too late 
to save her, and the poor lady died, according to a contemporary account,^ 
of ' undoubted hydrophobia,' greatly sorrowed by all.^ 

To add to the sorrow at her death, Mrs. Duff was shortly expecting 
to become a mother, the event being looked forward to with great joy by 
Lord Fife's family. There is a charming portrait of this lady done by 
Cosway, and engraved by John Agar, pupil of Bartolozzi, which has since 
been reproduced, and many inferior copies are now to be met with. 

Overwhelmed with grief at his sudden and tragic loss, James Duff went 
abroad, and was for some time a prisoner in Paris, from whence he wrote 
the following letter : 

James Duff to Sir Joseph Banks 

'Paris, July 15, 1806. 
' Sir, — Lord Fife having written to me a considerable time ago that you had 
had tlie goodness to say you would make an application to the Institute in my 
favour, but that at that moment you judged tlierc was no probability of its being 
attended to, and as several English prisoners have lately obtained their liberty 
at the request of members of that body, may I hope you will pardon the liberty 
I take in suggesting that at present there is c\'ery probability that a rceomnienda- 

1 See Noles and Queries, August 1852. 

- Tradition has it that, according to the custom of the time, she was smothered or strangled 
in one of her paroxysms (Genealogical Notes in the Lyon Office, Edinburgh). But the con- 
temporary papers say that ' the immediate cause of her death was fainting fits.' And the 
Scuts Magaitne for December 1804 gives it as ' A fever of unexampled rapidity.' 

) l]T/.a(( 


tion such as yours would be, would be immediately attended to, should you be 
so good as to employ it in my favour. Mr. Hamilton who is so obliging as to 
charge himself with my letter has obtained permission to return to England, 
through the influence of some members of the Institute. I hope that Lord 
Fife being in Scotland, and our long and unfortunate detention in this country 
will plead my excuse for taking the liberty of addressing myself to you without 
having the honour of being personally known to you. — I have the honour to be, 
with the greatest respect. Sir, Your very obedient humble servant, 

' J. Duff. 
' Sir Joseph Banks, Bart., etc., etc' * 

On obtaining his liberty he went to Vienna, and subsequently joined 
the Austrian army under the Archduke Charles. 

On liearing of the disturbances in Spain, however, he embarked at 
Trieste for Cadiz, where he found his kinsman, Sir James Duff,- the consul, 
who highly applauded his resolve to assist the Spaniards. He joined the 
Spanish army and took part in many battles, amongst others that of 
Talavera (1S09), where he received a sabre wound in the neck, having 
just saved the life of a Spanish officer. Later on, he accompanied Lord 
Wellesley to Badajos. On January 24, 1S09, his uncle, the second Earl, 
died, and by his father's succession to the title, he became Lord Macduff. 
He continued to serve in Spain, and his next share in the fighting was at 
the storming of Fort Matagorda on the Isle de Leon, near Cadiz, February 
10, 1810. Here he received a wound of which the effects remained Avith 
him throughout his life, and caused him ever after to limp, but by his 
unaided efforts he had saved the Spanish standard. While the wound was 
healing, he lived for some time in the house of his cousin. Sir James Duff, 
at Cadiz, and was carried about the to%vn in a Sedan chair, but as soon as 
possible he rejoined the army. On April 17, 1811, his father, the Earl 
Alexander, died, but he did not go home to attend to his owti affairs until 
1813. His departure from Spain was much regretted. Wellington 
presented him with a jewelled sword which he himself had received in 
India, and the Spanish Cortes conferred on him the rank of General, making 
him at the same time a Knight of the Order of St. Ferdinand and a grandee 
of Spain. He was received in London with great enthusiasm, the Prince 
Regent appointing him a Lord of the Bedchamber, as from early life they 
Jiad been on terms of great intimacy, and this lasted almost throughout 
the Sovereign's life. On one occasion his lordship incurred the displeasure 
of the King, when he opposed the Government on the question of the Malt 
Tax, and was summarily dismissed from his post at Court and from the 

' British Museum MSS. • See chapter xxvii. 


l^-j Sir rfenr,/ Itaff'UrTi 


King's friendship. This incident was the origin of Dighton's caricature 
called ' The Discharged Fifcr.' Subsequently the King received him back 
into favour and reinstated him in his ofliee. In 1827 he was made a peer 
of Great Britain, as well as receiving tlie Order of the Thistle and tlie Grand 
Military Cross of Hanover. 

When he returned to Scotland he found much to demand his attention. 
His uncle's extraordinary will, leaving everything possible to his natural 
son (James of Kinstair),^ considerably crippled his resources and led to an 
action in the Court of Session in 1816, which at first involved the fourth 
Earl in heavy losses, but in which eventually he was successful. The legal 
knowledge which he displayed on this occasion was the delight of his friends, 
and the surprise both of his agents and opponents. Notwithstanding all 
his expenses, he set to work at once to make great improvements on his 
estates in building villages, making roads, constructing harbours, and 
planting great tracts of land, also in times of distress, treating his tenants 
with the greatest liberality and generosity. From 1818 to 1826 he was 
Whig Member of Parliament for the county of Banff, and on his retirement 
his brother. Sir Alexander, still represented the family in the House of 
Commons as member for the Elgin Burghs." Besides being much at Duff 
House, he paid frequent visits to his property in Morayshire, and resided 
at Innes House, and it was owing to his influence that many great improve- 
ments were carried out in Elgin. He also restored part of the Abbey of 
Pluscarden, and was largely instrumental in preserving the ruins of Elgin 
Cathedral. When George iv. visited Edinburgh in 1823, both Lord Fife 
and his brother, Sir Alexander Duff, were in attendance on him ; in the 
GentlcmarCs Magazine of that date Lord Fife is described as ' wearing a 
scarlet foreign General's uniform with Portuguese orders.' He was 
Grand Master Mason for Scotland, and in this capacity laid the foundation 
stones of the Regent Arch and the New Gaol, Calton Hill, Edinburgh, 
September 26, 1815. 

He met many interesting people in his time and had been on terms of 
intimacy Avith some of them, amongst others the exiled Bourbons when in 
residence at Holyrood. He had also been acquainted with Naj^oleon, 
Talleyrand, and some of the reno^vned marshals of France, while a prisoner 
on parole in France (see above). On the death of George iv. the new 
King, William iv., conhrmed Lord Fife's appointment as Lord of the Bed- 
chamber. During the agitation in connection with the Reform Bill, he 
warmly supported that measure, and at great personal inconvenience was 
present to vote in the majority which ensured its passing. 

' See chapter xxxiv. 

' While Banflshire became Conservative. 


To this period belongs the following letter from his father-in-law : 

TouTJiAN SquauKj 23'' J\'o!ir. 1013. 
' My dear Lord, — I dined with the Prince Regent on Sunday last, when His 
Royal Highness commanded me to say he hoped it would not be long before 
you returned to London, and also, not to forget the Thousand Westphalia Hams 
— So far I have executed my commission — I shall add that Sir Carnaby is pant- 
ing for your return, and a hundred more who you can readily guess at — Seriously 
tho, we shall all be most happy to have you with us again — The Prince is in 
excellent spirits, so many glorious Victories as have lately oceur'd, cannot fail 
of being most gratifying to him, and all of us — The counter Revolution in Hol- 
land, must be a dreadful blow on BonajDarte — The news arriv'd on Sunday. 
The Prince of Orange takes his departure immediately, two thousand of the 
Guards were to go to-day for Holland and twelve thousand of the Militia (who are 
to receive additional pay, on going abroad) will follow shortly. The Duchess 
joins nie in love and kind regards to you, we hope your Brother and Mrs. Duff arc 
well, pray remember us to them — I have only time to add that we hope to hear 
from you very soon, and Relieve me, My dear Lord, Ever affectionately yours, 

' JOUN ]\L\.NNEKS.' {D.) 

In 183.3 lie came to live permanently at Duff House, where liis arrival 
was hailed with delight by the poor and the workpeople, who well remem- 
bered his former kindness, and the improvement in their condition brought 
about by his presence. Besides the public works inaugurated by him, 
it was liis custom to seek out persons in distress and poverty, and many 
were thus gladdened by his bounty. There is an old story of his carrying 
a sack of meal along the high road to relieve an aged woman of the burden, 
she being ignorant of his identity. When parting from her, he recom- 
mended her to sieve the meal well before using it ; on doing so, after her 
return home, she was filled with joy at the discovery of several golden 
guineas, and her neighbour, who had watched the scene, said to her, 
' Yc 're uj) by cairts {i.e. up in the world) tlie day, to have a ycarl to carry 
ycr meal tac yc 1 ' ^ 

He was always a good landlord and let out small holdings on favourable 
terms, and at a time when a neighbouring proprietor was turning out his 
smaller tenants in order to make clearings for deer forests and sheep farms. 
Lord Fife wrote liim a long letter begging him not to turn out his tenants 

' On another occasion, wlicn driving in his gig, he met an old fishwife of his acquaintance 
and oflered her a Uft into Banff. On the way they encountered his brother, General Duff, 
who looked at tlic ICarl's companion witli haughty dis.ipjiroval. On being asked the reason 
of Iiis glum looks, llic General replied sourly that he could not tolerate the smell of fish, to 
which the Earl responded that he ' preferred it to the smell of whisky,' in allusion to the fact 
that his brother had married the daughter of a distiller. 


faster tlian the Fife estates could take tlicm in. As lias been already 
inciitioiicd, Ik; iiiaiii^niratcd si'vci'al new villages, Ahen^iiii-dcr and Diilftown 
bcirif^f anujiif^'st l.lic nuinhcr. lie had cxLciisive rcpaiis caiiicd oiil, iijion 
several ol" the lainily mansions, and employed many men in enelosin/r and 
draining waste places and marshes. 

For the last twenty years of his life he lived continuously at Dull House, 
and as he grew older he eared less and less to go about, his okl Spanish 
wound giving him constant trouble ; but he was always glad to see his 
friends at Duff House, and was able to enjoy their society, as well as being 
a great reader. In the beginning of 1817 the town of Uanl'f was put into 
a state of great excitement by the report that an attcmjjt had been made 
on liOrd Fife's life by a discharged servant of the name of Hammond, said 
to have been imdcr tiie influence of drink at the time. Hammond had 
made an attack on his successor, and the cries of a female servant brought 
the master to the spot, ui)on which Hammond drew a knife and attacked 
liim, but was secured before nnich harm was done, and in sjjite of his 
seventy years, his lordship was little the worse. 

In the autunm of 1851 he began to fail somewhat, and in April 1855 
had a bad illness, from which, however, he completely rallied. Two years 
later he caught a severe eolil from which lie never recovered, and died on 
March 9, 18;)7, at Didl' House, aged eighty years and five months. 

There is a fine portrait of him by Raeburn in the family collection, and 
a replica in the possession of Mrs. Chancellor, by whose permission it is 

As he left no children, he was succeeded in the title and the Irish honours 
by his nephew, James Duff, as fifth Earl. The peerage of Great Britain, 
conferred on him in 1827, being confined to heirs-male of the body only, 
again became extinct. 

In Imlach's llistorij of Banff the foiu'th Earl is thus described : 

' He was one of the most remarkable men of our time connected with the 
north of Scotland, and more particularly with us, as a burgess of our royal 
luuoiigli; u warrior ami a eonrlitr, a nuljlenian and a statesuiaii, he j'et rejoiced 
most of all in llie title of llic poor man's friend. As sueli his nanu: will go do\vn 
lo posterity, and the liouso of Fife as it reckons up tlie names on its bead-roll of 
those who, in the spirit of their motto, Virtutc cL Opera, hii\c aeliie\-ed distinc- 
tion and desirvtd well of their country, will not forget to render due honour to 
hini whom it will designate " the good I'^arl .James." ' 

Cramond's Annals of Banff thus alludes to his funeral : 

' In March 1857 were deposited in the family mausoleum at Duff House, 
amidst general tokens of regret, the remains of one of the most nolable men in 


I lie iiorlli of Scollniul. Two tluiiisand jicrsons followed Iiis reinnins to their 
Inst ix-sl ini;-|)I;iee, iiiul Iroiii ci^^lit to ten tlioiisniKJ persons were (ni llir ;;i'omi(l.' 

AVitliiii tlic recollcftion ol' the present writers, old people in Hnnl'l' and 
(he ntighboiivliood always alluded to him as ' the good Year! James.' 

A deed of entail was executed by the fourth Earl, and the list ol' [lersons 
mentioned in it is interesting to tlie family historian : 

' The whole heirs of entail now alive entitled to succeed to the Fife estates 
under the destinations of the deed aforesaid, April 13, ISil (printed from the 
copy delivered to Major Alexander Francis Tayler. See below, No. .'M). 


1. The Honourable General Sir Alexander Duff, second son of the said Alex- 

ander Duff of Eeht, afterwards Earl of Fife. 

2. James Duff, Esq., M.W, and 

S. George Skene Duff, Esq., of Milton, sons of tlie saiil Honourable Sir Alex- 
ander Duff. 

4. Garden Duff, now of Hatbon, fifth lawful son of John Duff of Hatton, now 


5. Benjamin Duff, oldest son of the said Garden Duff. 

0. Garden Duff [agril three], son of the said Benjamin Duff, and the said 

Benjamin Duff as his adiniuistrator-iu-law. 
7. Garden William Duff. 

S. Robert George Duff, now in the Mauritius, or elsewhere abroad, a!id 
9. James Duff, sons of the said Garden Duff of Hatton. 

10. Robert Duff, mereliaut of (ilasgow, sixlli lawful son of the said John Duff 

of Hatton. 

11. Captain Norwich Duff, Royal Navy, and grandson of I he deceased .Tames 

Duff, Slieriff-Clerk of Banff. 

^•.i. Robert William Duff, Esq., of Fcttcrcsso, eklest son of the said ileeeased 
l!(.)bert William Duff, l''s(]., of Fetteresso, who was eldest sou of the 
deceased Admiral Robert Duff of Fetteresso, who was sixth son of the 
also tleeeased Patrick Duff of t'raigstou. 

l.'J. Arthur Duff, now Arthur Abercromby Dulf of (Jhissliaugh, si'coud son of 
the said deceased Roliert William Duff. 

II. Robert A\'il]iam Duff [aged iAi'J, son of the said Arthur Aber- 
cromby, and the said Arthur Abercromby as Iiis ailmiiiistrator-in-law. 

l.'J. Adam Duff, late merchant in London, now of Woodeote House, Elenley- 
on-Thamcs, third son of the said JJoliert \Villiam Huff. 

10. Thomas Eraser Duff [aged clcvni], 

17. Robert Duff [ngid tcnl 

18. George Graham Duff [aged six], 

19. Adam Duff [aged two], and 

O i.ini'. hltrt'.ty ,i!;;in;.M 

FIFE ENTAIL OF 1811 211 

'JO. Ailliiir Mcrcdilli DnIT \(i^i(l aiic], .smis of llic snid Duff, iiiid llx: said 

Adiuii DiiTr IIS llu ir adinjiiisl iii.l.dr-iii-l.iw. 
'il. Tliomas Abcrcrdiiiliy Duff, l']s(\., of lla<ldi), I'oinili son of Ilic said deceased 

Kobcrt William Duff. 
22. Robert William Duff [aged fifteen], 
2;i. Alexander Gordon Duff [aged thirlceii], 
21.. 'I'lionias Abereroitiliy Fraser J)iiff [cigdl ciglil], and 

25. Adam Duff [aged six], sons of the said Thomas Abereromby DulT, and llie 

said Thomas Abereromby Duff as their administrator-in-law. 

26. Kear-Admiral Archibald Duff of Drummuir, immediate younger hiolhcr- 

gcrmaii of the deceased John Duff of Drummuir, eldest son of Ca])tain 
Alexander Duff of Ciibbin. 

27. Thomas Duff, now Thomas Gordon of Park, son of the deceaseil Laehlan 

Duff, Writer to our Signet, who was lawful son of the deceased John Duff 
of Cubbin. 
2S. Laehlan Duff Gordon, Captain 20th Uegiment of Foot, now in Dublin or 
elsewhere abroad. 

29. David IM'Dowall Gordon, mastcr's-mate on board of our ship Thunderer 

stationed at Malta, or elsewhere abroad, and 

30. Alexander Duff Gordon, mate on board of our ship Vesper, sons of the said 

Tlionuis Duff, now Thomas Gordon. 

31. Iluntly George Gordon Duff, now of Muirtown, only son of the deceased 

Hugh Robert Duff of Muirtown, who was only son of Colonel Alexander 
Duff of Muirtown. 


32. Catharine Duff, and 

33. Louisa Tollemache Duff, dangliters of the said Honourable Sir Alexander 

3k Lady Jane Duff or Tayler, eldest daughter of the before-named Alexander 

Duff of Edit, afterwards Earl of Fife, and spouse of the also before-named ^ 

Major Alexander Francis Tayler, and the said Major Alexander Francis 

Tayler her husband for his interest. 
35. William James Tayler, 
30. James George Tayler, 

37. George Skene Tayler, 

38. Hay Utterson Tayler, and 

39. Jane Marion Tayler, children of the said Lady Jane Duff or Tayler and 

Major Alexander Francis Tayler. 

■10. The Ijefoie-named Alexander Tlujmas Wharton Duff," 

■H. Anne Jane Wharton Duff, and 

'12. Jemima Wharton Duff, children of Lady Anne Wharton Duff, second 
daughter of the said Alexander Duff of Echt, afterwards Earl of Fife, 
and spouse of the said Richard Wharton Duff of Orton. 

. .ilU Jc. I'M 


■i;5. Loiiis.'i Duff \ti<^r(l ci^lil], iiiul 

II. Ililcii Dull' [ii^cd ,s/.cj, ilailf^liU'l'S ol' llir l)iT(>rc'-li:iiii((l IJciijniniii Duff, 

eldest soil of (iiii'dcii J)iiff of IliiLLoii. 
•L5. Mrs. Jiuict J)iir[ or Morisoii, spouse ol Alexuiider Morisoii, Esq., of 

4G. Mrs. Helen Duff or Euchan, spouse of James Buchaii, Est]., of Aucliniacoy, 

■1-7. Miss Louisa Clementina Duff, daughters of the said Garden Duff of Ilatton, 

and the said Alexander Morison, husband of tlie said Janet Duff, and 

James Buehan, husband of the said Helen Duff, for themselves and their 

■IS. Thomas Euchan, and 
■I'J. Louisa Euehan, ehildren of the said Helen Duff or Buehan and James 

Buehan, and the said James Buehan as their adminislrator-in-law. 

50. j\Iiss Clementina IDuff, residing in Banff, daughter of the before-named John 

Duff of Ilatton. 

51. Mrs. Mary Duff or Cockburn, daughter of the deceased Alexander Duff 

of Hattoii, and spouse of Bobert Coekburn, Esq., wine merchant in 

London, and the said Kobert Coekburn, her husband, for himself and his 

5'2. Archibald Coekburn, 
53. Alexander Coekburn, 
51. John IMontague Coekburn, and 
55. Helen Clementina Cockburn or Dunlop, spouse of Hugh Duidop, Esq., 

late of Oporto, children of the said Mary Duff or Coekburn and Bobcrt 

5(!. JauKs Dunlop, son of the said Mrs. Helen Clemeutiiia Cockburn or Dunloj) 

and Hugh Dunlop, the said Hugh Dunlop as adniinistrator-in-law of 

his said son, and also as husband of the said Helen Clementina Coekburn 

or Dunlop for his interest. 

57. Mrs. Helen Duff or Tod, also daughter of the said deceased Alexander Duff 

of Hatton, and spouse of John Tod, Writer to our Signet. 

58. Thomas Tod, 
5'.». Alexander Tod, 
CO. Joim Ut)bert Tod, 

Gl. Helen Clementina Tod, 

(j'2. Mary Jane Tod, 

03. Charlotte Joanna Tod, 

01. Caroline Jane Tod, 

05. Louisa Garden Tod [oged ihirieeii], and 

CO. Joanna Helen Tod [aged ieit], all children of the said Mrs. Helen Duff or Tod 
and John Tod, the said John Tod as husband of the said Mrs. Helen Duff 
or Tod, and for liis interest, and also as administrator-in-law for such of 
his said children as are minors. 

07. Helen Sophia Duff [aged seven], and 

FIFE ENTAIL OF 1841 213 

OS. (Jcor^^'irm I/iicy Diifr |//^'(•f/ .v/,i'|, (luii^^lilci.s of llic s:i.i(l ('.ipliiiii Niirwicli 

Diilf, uikI I lull- snid lallicr us llu.ii" uclmiiiislrutoi-iii-law. 
O;). John l?(.ll tSuLtic, 

70. June Griiluini Siitlic, 

71. Catherine Duff SuLtie, children ol Helen Bell or SuLlic, deceased, who was 

spouse of George Suttie, shoemaker, and diiughler of Helen Duff or Bill, 
. also deceased, who was eldest daughter of the before-named James Duff, 

Sheriff-Clerk of J5anff, and spouse of Tlionias Bell, comedian, also deceased, 

the said George Suttie as admiiiistrator-in-law for his said children. 
7'Z. Elizabeth Bell, spouse of Alexander Weir, seaman in Banff, second daughter 

of the said Helen Duff or Bell. 
7:3. Helen Duff Weir, 

74. Anne Duff Weir, and 

75. J'JIi/.abeth AVeir, children of the said Elizabeth Bell or AVeir, and the said 

Alexander Weir, as husband of the said Elizabeth Bell or Weir for his 
interest, and also as administrator-in-law for his children. 
70. I\Irs. Anne Duff or Biggar, also daughter of the said deceased James Duff, 
Sheriff-Clerk of Banff, and spt)use of Walter Biggar, Esq., merchant 
in Banff, and the saitl \Valter Biggar for himself and his interest. 

77. Margaret Biggar [ugcd eighteen], daughter of the said Mrs. Anne Duff or 

Biggar, and the said Walter Biggar, her father, as her administrator-in-law. 

78. Mary Cameron Abercromby [aged seven], and 

79. Margaret Gurney Abercromby [aged Uiree], daughters of the said Arthur 

Abercromby of Glassluiugh, and their said father as their administrator- 

SO. Mary Abercromby [aged eight], and 

yi. Jane Clerk Duff [aged seven], daughters of the before-named Adam Duff, 
Esq., late merchant in London, and him as their administrator-in-law. 

812. Mary Stewart Gordon, 

.sy. llaehel Duff Gordon, 

Si. Eliza Georgina Graham Gordon, 

85. Eleanor Frances Julien Gordon, 

86. \Vilhelmina M'Dowall Gordon, 

87. Helen Isabella Gordon, 

88. Jemima Hay Gordon, and 

8U. Charlotte Emilia Gordon, all daughters of the before-named Thomas Gordon 
of Park, and the said Thomas Gordon, their father, as their administrator- 

00. Mrs. Bachel Duff or Stewart, daughter of the I)efore-desigtied Lachlaii Duff, 
W.S., and spouse of Patrick Stewart of Auchluncart, and the said P;itriek 
Stewart, her husband, for his interest. 

0). Andrew Stewart, their son. 

O'Z. Mrs. Emily Blary Davidson Duff or Warrand, residing in Inverness, daughter of 
the said deceased Hugh llobcrt Duff of Muirtown, and widow of Alexander 
Warrand, I'wscj., Assistant Surgeon in the East India Company's service. 


9.1. AIcxjmdt.T .Tolin Criiicksluiiik Warruiid, 

'.>l. Ciilluiiiu' MiMirii Wiirniiul, !iiul 

!)r<. I,(nii.s,a .S.'irali Gi'orgiiui Wainunl, cliiklivii of I lie said Mrs. lOmily IMaiy 

Davidson Duff, or AVavraiid, and residing wiLii her at MnirLown, near 

OC. Mrs. Jane Dorothy Stratton Duff or Shircff, daugliter of the said deceased 

Hugh Robert Duff of Muirtown, and spouse of Captain Robert Shireff of 

tlic 2nd Madras Native Infantry, and lier said husband for his interest. 
!)7. Rol)ert David Forbes Duff Shireff, son of the said Mrs. Shireff. 
9W. Catherine Dingwall or Stewart, residing at Croydon, Surrey, widow of 

William Stewart, Commander Royal Navy, and daughter of the late 

Magdalene Duff or Dingwall, who was daughter of William Duff of 

Corsindae, who was son of James Duff of Corsindae. 
99. Patience Stewart or Rcid, residing at Croydon aforesaid, daughter of the 

said Catherine Dingwall or Stewart, and widow of Lieutenant James 

Reid, Royal Navy. 
100. Catherine Reid, daughter of the said Patience Stewart or Reid.' 

This entail was broken in 1875, by the fifth Earl and his son the 
late Duke of Fife. 

Six of the heirs-female are still living. 





General the Hon. Sir Alexander Duff, G.C.II. (Grand Cross of 
Hanover), brother and heir-presumptive to tlie fourtli Earl of Fife, was the 
second son of Alexander, tliird Earl, by his wife, Mary Skene of Skene. 
He was liorn in 1777, and when only five or six years old was sent to Duff 
House to the cai'c of his luicle, the second Lord Fife, who, liavin<i- no 
children, wished to take charge of his nephews. It must liavc been a 
little hard for their mother to part with them at this very early age. Two 
of her letters on the subject are to be found in chaiiter xii., and the letters 
of their father to his brother frequently end with a message or a line ' to 
the boys.' When they were a little older, their uncle sent them to the 
then well-known school kept by Dr. Chapman at Inchdrewcr.' Alexander 
DulT entered the Army as Ensign in the Goth Rerkshire Regiment of Foot 
in May 1793, being then sixteen, and joined his regiment at Gibraltar. 
Having been first promoted to a lieutenancy with captain's j>owers in 

' Here it may be added that the Kev. Daniel Duff, later of Salvadore House, Tooting, for 
whom see chapter xxi.x., was also at this school, though about twenty years earlier. 

rffiT ,2v;o^ rin 


.•in Tndcpcndciit. ('i)m|):iny in Jiimiiii-y 17!)l', lie \v;is I iMnslVi-rcd in 1795 
:is (.':i|)taiii lo Uk- .S.Slli ' Kcoimrtil, niul in tlic Maicli Ibllowiiijj;- tipprars :is 
Miijor in the same rcyimcnt. Tlic 88Lli was then newly raised, and liuniiy 
interest j)rocured him the majority at the age of eighteen. lie served in 
Flanders imtil the return of the army in tlie end of the same year. In 
April 1798 he was promoted Ijcutenant-Colonel of the 8Sth, and went to 
tlie East Indies, where he remained until his regiment v,-as ordered to Egypt 
to take part in the expedition under Sir Uavid Uaird whicli landed at 
Kosscir in June 1801, crossed the desert, and, embarking on the Nile, 
descended to Cairo and thence to Alexandria, which was reached a few 
days before its surrender to General Hutchinson. In 1800 his regiment 
formed part of the expedition for the reduction of La Plata, Montevideo, 
and other jjlaccs in South America, which started February 24, 1807, and 
lie commanded tlie centre column in the attack on Buenos Ayres on July 5, 
1807. Here he had the misfortune to be obliged to surrender with liis 
detacliment, and appeared as a witness at the court-martial held in the 
following year- to inquire into the conduct of Brigadier-General White- 
locke, who was accused of ' acting contrary to instructions, of exposing 
his army to fire from the houses, by causing them to march through the 
streets without having previously reduced the town, of not being present 
personally at the attack, and of neglecting to keep up communications 
with his main body.' It was, moreover, proved tliat ' after concluding 
a shameful treaty, he went back to his headquarters without making any 
serious attem[)t to learn what had become of his column on tlie right.' ^ 
General Whitelocke was cashiered, l)ut Lieutenant-Colonel Alexander 
Duff, who gave evidence as to the circumstances which led to his own 
surrender, was not included in the censure.' 

General Whitelocke had niadc a hojieless muddle of the whole 

W. F. Lord, in his I^ost Possessions of Great Britain, says : 

' Whitelocke seemed resolved on failure. AUhouyh he had made his attack 
at his leisure from the impregnable position ul j\Iontevideo, he had sent his 
troops into action so ill provided that many ot them had eaten nothing for 24. 
hours before the fight began. lie had chosen the mode ot fighting in wliich the 
.Spaniards excelled. . . . When his fine army (11,000 seasoned British troops) 
and his capable subordinates had wrested a victory in spite of the unparalleled 
blunders of their chief, there remained only one more step to take, and he took 
it. Victory being placed in his grasp, he declined to seize it. Small wonder 

' The Connaught Rangers. ' At Chelsea, January 28, 1808. ' Gentleman's Magazine. 
* It is a curious circumstance that tlie president ot the court-martial was Sir James Duff 
of the Fool Guartls, lirst cousin to Colonel Alexander. See chapter xx.xiv. 



if the remains of Iiis splendid force cli.'ilked np on the street wails : " General 
WliiLeloeke is a fool or a traitor, or both." ' 

Alexander Duff was promoted Colonel in the same year, and in 1810 
went on the half-pay list of the 4th Foot. lie became Major-Gcneral 
in June 1811, and Lieutenant-General in 1821. 

In 1816 he was presented with a sword by the officers of the 88th who 
had served under him. 

He became Colonel of the 92nd Foot in September 1823, and in the 
year 1828 he appears for the first time in the Army List as Honourable, his 
brother having in the previous year been made a peer of the United King- 
dom in addition to the Irish title. ^ He was transferred to the colonelcy 
of the 37th Foot in July 1831. 

In 1833 he received the Grand Cross of the Order of Hanover, which 
did not carry knighthood, but he was knighted by King William iv. in 
the following year. He reached the rank of full General in the third year 
of Queen Victoria's reign (1839). 

Sir Alexander married, in March 1812, Anne, youngest daughter of 
James Stein of Kilbagie, and had three sons and two daughters : 

1. The eldest son, born in Edinburgh 1813, died a few months later. 

2. James, born 181-1 ; JI.P. for Banff, and afterwards fifth Lord Fife. 

3. George Skene, born 1816 ; M.P. for the Elgin Burghs. 

'"' 4. Catuerine, born 1820 ; married, in 1841, John Lewis Ricardo of an 
old Jewish family, and had one son, Algernon Lewis, died 1871, a Captain 
in the Scots Guards. Catherine died 1809. 

5. Louisa Tollemaciie, born 1824, died 1864 ; married, 1848, Sir 
Richard Brooke of Norton Priory, Runcorn. She had the following 
children : 

Richard and Evelyn, twins, born 1850. 

Basil and Mabel, twins, born 1852. 

Joeelyn, born 1854. 

Winifred, born 1856. 

Victor, born 1857. 

Octavius, born 1859. 

Lionel, born 1800. 

Reginald, born 1801. 

Lilian, born 1864. 
Sir Richard married again, after the death of Lady Louisa, and there 
were two more daughters. 

* Though he had, since 1811, when his fatlicr succeeded to the earldom of Fife, had a right 
to this courtesy title. 


Catherine, Louisa, and George Duff were granted llic courtesy titles 
and the ranlv of earl's eliildren on their brother's siieeession to tiie title 
in 1857. 

Sir Alexander, having inherited no landed estate, resided for many 
years at Delgaty Castle, bought by Lord Fife I'roni Garden ol' Trouj), and 
sold by his eldest son, in ISG.'J, to Mrs. Grant Duff of Eden, the purchase 
money being the estate of her deceased uncle, Mr. Douglas Ainslie (see 
chapter xxxii.). Like many others of the Dull' family. Sir Alexander was 
anxious to attain to parliamentary honours, and represented the Elgin 
Burghs in the House of Commons from 1820 to 1831. He had made a 
previous attempt to enter Parliament, which led to the famous ' Raid of 
Elgin ' in 1820. His opponent was Archibald Farquharson of Finzcan, 
who was supported by Lord Seafield and all the Grant interest, while Lord 
Fife and the Duff interest were naturally on the side of General Duff, who 
was also the personal favourite of the burghers of Elgin. Lord Fife had 
spent enormous sums on entertainments in the town, the laws as to bribery 
being not then so strict as they have since become. 

Lord Seafield, with his three sisters, Anne, IMargaret, and Penuel,^ 
were then living at their town house. Grant Lodge, Elgin. ^ The ladies, 
especially Lady Anne, were keen politicians, and the interest they took in 
the contest was strongly resented by the people of Elgin ; they could 
scared)' appear in the streets without being aimoyed by the rabble. Feel- 
ing ran high, and at length strange tactics were adopted. The Grants 
began by attempting, nnsuccessfully, to kidnap two of General Duff's 
prominent supporters ; whereupon the Duffs retaliated by seizing Coun- 
cillor Robert Dick of the Grant faction, and transporting him across the 
Moray Firth to Sutherland. The Grants, not to be beaten, succeeded 
in getting possession of the acting chief magistrate and sent him also to 
Sutherland. The position was now so serious that the ladies at Grant 
Lodge became alarmed for their own safety, and a messenger was despatched 
to Strathspey to summon the clansmen. He reached Cromdale on a 
Sunday, just as the congregation was leaving the church, and about three 
hundred men immediately started for Elgin, others being instructed to 
follow. In all, some seven himdred reached Grant Lodge early on Monday 
morning, and encamped in the grounds for the protection of the chief's 
sister.^ A faithful adherent of the Duffs, seeing the Grants arrive at 
Abcrlour in the early hours of the morning, had outstripped them and 

' These were the grandchildren of General Alexander's aunt, Lady Anne Duff of Hatton. 
' Now a museum in the Cooper Park. 

' It must have been somewhat dilhcult for Lady Anne, at a moment's notice, to feed such 
a multitude. 


J^roTTv the, enqrravu}^ ht^ ZobeJ uftfj- portrtiU bif ChdteJ/i 

' RAID OF ELGIN,' 1820 219 

liastencd to warn both Lord Fife and the pcojilc of Elgin, wlio were there- 
fore ready armed, witli any obsolete weapons availaljle, when the invaders 
arrived, and had taken stejos to guard the safety of the remaining members 
of the town council favourable to their party. Later in the day more Fife 
tenants with their servants and other adherents from the fishing villages 
on the coast poured into the town, which was literally in possession of two 
rival armies, and a serious breach of the peace was imminent. The sheriff 
of the county, Sir George Abcreromby, who was fortunately in the town, 
having slipped into Grant Lodge by a back entrance, made a personal 
appeal to Lady Anne ^ to dismiss her turbulent bodyguard, and gave his 
personal assurance for her safety and a promise that special constables 
should be enrolled to keep the peace on both sides. His entreaties, which 
were supjiorted by a deputation of all the parochial clergy, were successful, 
and the Highlanders were instructed to march peacefully away by a differ- 
ent route to that by which they had arrived. The townspeople, however, 
could not be persuaded that they were not still lurking in the neighbour- 
hood, ready to return under cover of darkness, and a general illumination 
was ordered, many of the Grant faction lighting up their windows to save 
them from being broken. After the election, which ix'sulted in the return 
of Mr. Farquliarson, the absent councillors were returned in safety to 
their homes. - 

Sir Alexander Duff died in 1851 at Percy Cross, Walham Green, London, 
at that time a pretty country neighbourhood. He was seventy-three 
years of age. His body was conveyed by H.M.S. Liglitning to Banff, 
where it was placed in the family mausoleum at Duff House. His wife 
died eight years later, and was also buried in the mausoleimi. 

There were two ))ietures of General Duff in the Duff House collection 
(one of wliich has been finely engraved), and another at Orton, now in 
the possession of his great-niece, Mrs. Chancellor. He was a singularly 
handsome man, and a fine soldier. 

Tiicre are many letters from him to his uncle. Lord Fife, but they are 
not of general interest. 

He writes from Eastbourne on December 13, 1S05 : 

' My Lord, — I returned to the Rcgt. yesterday Eve from Sir James Duffs. ^ 
I am really much delighted with my visit. Ladij Duff is a charming ivoinan 
and the Utile ones interesting little creatures. The girl is very like her Father, the 
boy a fine stout fellow. I think the house extremely comfortable and a most 

• Lady Anne was of great personal attractions, and George iv., who saw her in 1822, and 
heard that she was the heroine of llio ' last Highland raid,' is said to have remarked that she 
was ' truly an object fit to raise the chivalry of a clan.' 

* See Rampini's Moray and Nairn, and Young's Annals of Elgin. ^ Of Kinstair. 


excellent garden. Sir James, Lady Duff informed me, used to take delight in 
feeding the poultry. His time is now intirely taken up wiLli his ehildrcn, I am 
happy to say my father is in good health.— Your very affeclioiiatc nephew, 

' Alex. Duff,' {D.) 


James, fifth Earl Fife, the eldest son of General Sir Alexander Duff of 
Delgaty, was born in Edinburgh in 1814. 

He was educated at Edinburgh Academy, and later on was in the Diplo- 
matic Service, serving as attache in Paris. 

In 1837 he was elected Member of Parliament for Banffshire, and con- 
tinued to represent this constituency for twenty years. 

He married, in Paris in 1846, Lady Agnes Georgina Elizabeth Hay, 
second daughter of the sixteenth Earl of Erroll and liis wife. Lady Eliza- 
beth Fitzclarcnce, daughter of William iv. and Mrs. Jordan. He was 
Lord-Lieutenant of the counties of Banff and Moray. 

He had tlie following children : 

1. Anne Ei.izabktii Cleaientina, born August 10, 1817; married, in 
18G5, the fifth Marquis Townshend, and had one son, the sixth and 
present Marquis, born 18GG, married Gladys Suthcrst, and one daughter, 
Agnes E. Audrey, born 1870, married James A. Durliam, son of Rev. W. 
Durham of Ladbroke, Warwick. 

2. Ida Louisa Alice, born December 11, 1848; married, in 1807, 
Adrian Elias Iloijc,^ which marriage was dissolved ; she married, secondly, 
1880, William Wilson. 

3. Alexander William George (first Duke of Fife), born May 10, 

4. Alexina, born March 20, 1851 ; married, 1870, Henry Aubrey 
Coventry, third son of Hon. Henry Amilius Coventry, and died 1882, 
without issue. 

5. Acnes Cecil Emmeline, born May 18, 1852 ; married, 1871, Viscount 
DujDplin ; divorced 1876. She married, secondly, in 1876, Herbert Flower, 
who died 1880 ; and, thirdly, in 1882, Sir Alfred Cooper, F.R.C.S., and 
of this marriage there was one son and three daughters. Sir Alfred 
died 1911. 

(1) Stephanie Agnes, born 1883 ; married, 1903, Arthur Levita, who 

died 1910, and has two children, Violet and Enid. 

(2) Hermione May Louise, born 1885 ; married, 1904, Niel Arnott, 

and has one son, Ian Duff. 

' There was one daughter, Agnes Henrietta Ida May, married Edwin Phillipps de Lisle. 


-From eru/ravirtn bit G h' W/jjt/ 
of a s?\,etch. Ity Sir r'lviui.'i Grtlrii 


(3) Sybil Mary, born 1886; married, 1904, R. Hart Davies, and 

has Rupert Charles 1007, and Deirdrc Phyllis Ulrica. 

(4) Alfred Duff, born 1890. 

6. Mary Hamilton, born February 20, 1854, died March 20, 1854. 

In the year 1857 Lord Fife was made a peer of the United Kingdom 
under the title of Baron Skene, which was taken from the property which 
had come to his uncle in 1827 upon the death of his grandmother's brother, 
the last Skene of Skene. He died in August 1879.^ 

His funeral from Duff House to the family mausoleum was a most 
imposing ceremony, and had quite a feudal air. All the availal)le members 
of the Duff family, all the neighbouring nobility and lairds, and friends 
from all parts of the country attended, as well as thousands of the tenants, 
so that tiie grass edgings of the avenues were trampled out of recognition, 
all testifying to his ]3opularity. One trilling hitch occuri'cd when on the 
arrival of the body at Banff Bridge Station the undertakers' men and the 
hearse had not yet made their appearance. The salmon fishers from their 
nets at the neighbouring mouth of the river were hastily summoned, and 
came on the scene without delay, still in their big sea-boots, but, almost 
unfortunately, before these picturesque henchmen had had time to shoulder 
the colIin the proper oflieials arrived.^ 

Tliere arc three good portraits of the fifth Earl, one in his youth, 
another, in early manhood, by Sir John Watson Gordon, and a third, 
by Sir Francis Grant, P.R.A., which was subscribed for by the tenantry. 
They are all in possession of the Duchess of Fife, but the first sketch by 
Watson Gordon is in the possession of the present writers. 

The Hon. George Skene Duff 
The Hon. George Skene Duff, only brother of the fifth Earl, and second 
son of Sir Alexander Duff, was born in 181G. He was educated in Edin- 
burgh, and in November 1S3G became a Cornet in the Royal Regiment of 
Horse Guards, but docs not appear to have been a very enthusiastic 
soldier, as he retired from the Army in the following year and took to 
diplomacy, for wiiieh he was more suited, being an excellent French and 
German scholar. He was for some time attached to the Embassies at 

'■ Many years before his death he had placed the management of his large estates in the 
hands of his cousin, W. J. Tayler, as commissioner, and in 1875 they were disentailed. 

• The present writer remembers the occasion as one of the most important and enjoyable (!) 
events of his early childhood. The crowds and the pipers made a great impression on liim. 
lie had, moreover, been cautioned by his motlicr not to approach loo near llic vault when it 
was opened, and is told, that on being asked on his return whether he had remembered the 
prohibition, answered proudly : ' Oh, I was one of the " men " who let him down/ having been 
given a cord to hold as pall-bearer. 



Paris and Vienna, and became a personal friend of Ilcinricli Heine and 
Count Andrassy.' 

In 1847 he entered Parliament as member for the Elgin Burghs, 
resigning his seat in 1857,- in failing health, though he lived for thirty-two 
years longer. 

In the same year, his brother being raised to the rank of Baron Skene 
of the United Kingdom, Mr. Duff was granted the rank of an carl's son. 
He was appointed Lord Lieutenant of Morayshire in 185G, which office 
he resigned in 1871. He was also a J.P. for tlic shires of Banff, Aberdeen, 
and Kincardine. 

Mr. Duff was best known as a sportsman ; he was a crack game shot 
and a keen fisherman, but he excelled as a deerstalker. On one occasion 
in August 1880, when he was sixty-four years old, he brought down in the 
Mar forest no fewer than eiglit stags, tlircc of them royals, the fourth with 
eleven tines, and the other four scarcely inferior ; this is without parallel 
in the annals of deerstalking in Scotland. 

Mr. Duff lived chiefly at Bournemouth, but he came every year to 
Montcoffer House, near Duff House, to enjoy the fishing, and as long as 
he was able he made an annual visit to Braemar for stalking. He, like 
his brother the Earl, was a generous and warm-hearted man, and was 
much regretted when he died at Bournemouth in March 1889. 

There is an exquisite crayon portrait of him by George Richmond, R.A., 
in the possession of the present writers. 

• Julius Andrassy, 1823-1890, Hungarian palriot and statesman. Member of the 
Hungarian diet ; subsequently fought against the Austrians in the successful Hungarian 
revolt of 1849 (only crushed by the intervention of Russia). Wlien the thirteen Hungarian 
generals were hanged at Arad, Andrassy was liaugcd in cliigy, he having escajietl to France. 
After the war of 1866, when Austria was obliged to concihatc lUingary, Andrassy was 
nominated Prime Minister of the autonomous Hungarian Cabinet. After tlie Franco- 
German war he became Austrian Minister for Foreign Affairs, and a great favourite with the 
Emperor, who is said to have remarked on more than one occasion, ' I am glad I did not 
hang you." 

' Sir Mountstuart Grant Dug being elected in his place. See chapter xxxii. 

il.t lo 




Alexander William George, tlic only son of the fifth Earl Fife, was 
born November 10, 1849, and educated at Eton from 18G3 to 18G6. 

His first appearance in pubHc Hfe was on tlie occasion of his appoint- 
ment as Lord Lieutenant of Morayshire when he was only twenty-two. 

Three years later, in 1874, Viscount Macduff ' wrested the parliamentary 
representation of the counties of Elgin and Nairn from the Grants, who had 
enjoyed it in the Conservative interest for the greater part of a century.' ^ 

In his first election address at Elgin, Lord Macduff made reference 
to the only contest in the constituency since the Reform Bill of 1832, 
describing it as ' the gallant attempt of his grandfather to rescue the 
constituency from the continuous rule of the Tories.' This was at the 
election which led to the ' Raid of Elgin ' (see last chapter). Lord Macduff 
was returned by 820 votes as against 619 cast for Colonel Grant, and the 
occasion was celebrated by a public dinner, at which the late Sir George 
Macpherson Grant took the chair. 

' In a conversation about Glass and Beldorney, Earl James iv. mentioned as an interesting 
circumstance that his uncle for some reason ncf,'lcctcd to secure tlic estate of Beldorney at tlie 
time wlien the old Gonlons had to part witli it, and it was purchased for pohtical reasons by 
the famous Master of the Rolls, Sir William Grant, who was a Tory, and therefore of opposite 
politics to those of the Fife family. The consequence was that in the period before the Reform 
Bill, Banffsliire was permanently harnessed under Tory regime, and bitter was the regret that 
the old Earl James Icit at his blunder. ' Ah, many a time,' said the late Earl James, ' did I 

hear my uncle say, " Ah Lord, I 'U never be d d for not buying Beldorney ; I hae repentit o' 

it sae bitterly " ' (Memorials of a Banffshire Glen, Sir William Geddes). 


In 1879, by the dcatli of his fatlicr, Lord MtvccIulT siux-ccdod lo tlic titles 
and tlie largo estates in four eounties ; lie took Iiis seat in the House of 
Lords as liaron Slcenc in February 1880, and in the following May Avas 
made a Privy Couneillor, and in March 1881 a Knight of the Order of 
the Thistle ; also a Knight of the Order of St. John of Jerusalem, Captain 
of the Corps of Gentlemen-at-Arms in 1880, and a IMember of the Council 
of the Duchy of Lancaster 1882. 

Early in 1882 he was entrusted with the mission from Queen Victoria 
to invest Albert, King of Saxony, with the Order of the Garter, and in 
the autumn of the following year he entertained the Prince of Wales at 
Duff House. 

During the time of agricultural depression in the early eighties he 
treated his tenants with every consideration, and from shortly after this 
period dates the commencement of his system of selling small holdings to 
occupying tenants. His theory, as stated by himself in a meeting at 
Banff in 1890, was that ' there should be a considerable number of quite 
small estates side by side with the larger ones, which will not only tend to 
create an element of greater stability in the country, but also to do away 
with the idea which once prevailed, that land is the peculiar appanage of 
one class, instead of being, as it should be, a purchasable commodity Avith- 
in the reach of all.' The smaller properties sold by the sixth Earl of Fife 
are too numerous to detail ; among the larger ones may be mentioned 
Skene, Innes, Rothiemay, Auchintoul, Glenbucket, Eden, Glenrinnes, 
Aberlour, Blairmorc, etc. 

The Fife estates in 1883 consisted of 135,829 acres in Aberdeenshire 
(worth £16,240 a year) ; 72,432 acres in Banffshire ; 40,959 acres in IMoray- 
shire (besides an unstated quantity in that county worth £1251 a year) ; 
making (with this exception) 249,220 acres, worth £72,503 a year.^ 

The Duke of Fife was one of the twenty-eight noblemen who, in 1883, 
possessed above 100,000 acres in the United Kingdom, and stood fifth 
in order of acreage, and third (in Scotland) in point of income derived 
therefrom, following the Duke of Bueeleuch and the Marquis of Hamilton.^ 

Since 1883 a great part of the Fife estates has been sold. 

' In 1879 (when the late Duke succeeded), they extended to 257,657 acres — annual rental 
£78,000 ; of these : 

72,432 acres in Banffshire, . . rental, ;f36,379 

139,629 ,, ,, Aberdeenshire, . ,, £17,740 

40.959 ,t .. Moraysliire, . . „ /i 8,695 

4.S37 ,, „ Forfarshire, . . „ £5,768 

- It may be remarked that the Duke of Fife had not (neither had any of his predecessors) 

one acre of land in the county of Fife, though the second Earl had a project of purchasing an 

estate there. The Duke of Devonshire and the Earl of Derby are similarly situated. 

I- MO 


In tlie year l.S8,'> Lord File severed Iiis eoniicetioii wiLli Mi-. (;i;idstonc;'.s 
party on the Jlonie Uule (luestion. 

In addition to bcinir a landed proprietor he Iiad large Ihiancial interests, 
both in the London banking firm of Sir Samuel Scott and Co., and in many 
other important undertakinos ; and at one time was aetivcly concerned 
in the development of Rhodesia. lie was vice-president of the Chartered 
Company of South Africa for nine years, but rcsigiied the position after 
the Jameson Raid. 

July 27, 1889, was marked by liis marriage to Her Royal Highness 
Princess Louise Victoria Alexandra Uagmar of Wales, now Princess Royal, 
and elevation to the Dukedom of Fife and Marquisate of Macduff ; he had 
already, in 1885, been created an earl of the United Kingdom. 

On April 21, 1900, he was created afresh F-arl of IMacdulf and Duke of 
Fife, with special remainder, in default of male issue, to his first antl other 

Tiie only son of this marriage was, unfortunately, still-born, June IG, 

There are two daughters : 

Alexandra Victoria Alberta Edwina Louise, present Duchess of 
Fife, born May 17, 1891. 

Maud Alexandra Victoria Georgina Bertha, born April 3, 1893. 

In 1905 King Edward vii. ' was pleased to declare ' that these two 
granddaughters should be ' called Princesses, and bear the title of Her 

In 1898 the Duke of Fife was aj)proached by I\Ir. Chamberlain with 
a view to his assuming the Governor-Generalship of Canada, but that and 
similar suggestions were declined on account of Her Royal Iliglmess's 
delicate health. The Duke and the Princess resided dining the summer 
chiefly at Mar Lodge, which was rebuilt on a new site after the fire of 
1905 ; a very brief annual visit being paid to Duff House until the year 
190G, when ' the mansion-house, gardens, and policies, witli 1-10 acres of 
land, were presented to the towns of Banff and Macduff ; the Corporations 
being left a free hand to put this gift to the Ijcst use in the interest of the 

The Duke of Fife was Lord Lieutenant of the county of London from 
1900, and Lord High Constable at the Coronation of Edward vii. and 
George v., on which latter occasion he was created Knight of the Garter. 
He was also Grand Commander of the Victorian Order. 

His death at Assouan on January 29, 1912, was tlic unfortunate result 
of a chill contracted by exposure after the wreck of the ss. Delhi off Cape 
Spartel, when the Duke, the Princess Royal, and the two princesses were 



on tlu'ir way to Kf^^ypt. His body was broii^vlii lionic in TI.IM.S. roivcrful, 
and I Ik- riincial, alUiidcd hy Liie Kin^ and the ]{oyal J'"aMiily, look place 
at Windsor, I'loin whence tlie body was removed in liie aiitunui of 1912 to 
the vault in the private chapel at Mar Lodge. 

It will be recollected that in the weeks succeeding the Duke's death 
much discussion took place as to whether the Irish title of Earl Fife, dating 
from 1759, could be held independently of the dukedom, which by special 
remainder descended to his daughter. 

One claimant to this title, now in Australia, purported to trace his 
descent from the lion. George Duff of Milton,' son of the first, and brother 
of the second and third Earls, but this claim has been shown to be without 
foundation, there being now no living male representatives of the family of 
the first Earl, to whom and to his heirs-male the first titles were granted ; 
and all subsequent creations (except the last) having been similarly re- 
stricted, the titles to the Barony of Braco of Kilbryde 1735, Viscount of 
Macduff and Earklom of Fife 1759, in the })eeragc of Ireland, Barony 
Skene of Skene 1S57, Earl of Fife (United Kingdom) 1885, Dukedom of 
Fife and Marquisatc of Macduff 1889, are all extinct, while the creation 
of 1900 is now enjoyed by the present Duchess. 

On October 15, 1913, Her Highness Princess Alexandra, Duchess of 
Fife, was married to II.R.H. Prince Arthur of Connaught. 

' By a son named Daniel ; but that George Duff had no such son is shown conclusively 
by the memorandum of his family left by James, the second Earl, and quoted in chapter xxix. 



■"'P.i:-iCi2S3 Ai^TH'j'i or ooNiiAxro: 

f,l,^-ti:lUf):h I.I, h •/' I ■■<':!■/ ri'-. 



8 ^- 

;', "!,; 




m. first, 16S7, Anne Innca. 
Thirteen children. 

PATRICK DUFF of Ckaioston, circa 1655, died 1731, 

ndly, 1700, Mary Urquliart. 
Twentv-three children. 



Alexander William 

(Hatton). (Whitcbill). 

John Patrick 

(Elgin). (Culler). 



Jamea Thomaa, Robert Kli^abeth. 

(Craigatun). Archibald, (Fetturesao). Mary, 

Francis, Adam. Margaret. 

all o.s.p. Two other 


The tliird son of Alexander of Kcithmorc, Patrick Duff of Craigston, was 
born about 1G55. Of his early history little is known, beyond what can 
be gathered from the following brief references : 

In 1687 Patrick Duff, youtigest son of Alexander Duff of Keithmore, 
received 6000 meiks as his bairn's part. This was on the occasion of his first 
marriage. (Rose MS.). 

In 1GS8 there was a sasinc to Patrick Duff iu Braco, formerly in Ilillock- 
liead of Balveny, youngest son to Alexander Duff of Keithmore. (Rose MS.). 

In 1691 Patrick Duff of Braco was factor for the Duke of Gordon. i 

lie fully maintained the family traditions of energy and aptitude for 

' Aberdeen Sheriff Court Records. He was also an cider of Grange, and in the Icirk- 
session records we find, under date March 2, 1693, ' John Gall, cidor, at the Nether Mill of 
Strathisla, rcjiortcd that Patrick Duff in Braco in bread Hi of luy face called nie a warlock.' 


husiiK'ss. ![(• Ciii'ricd on! li-julc in corn iiiid iiuiil wliicli liiid hccii so 
siicccssl'iilly cslablislic'd by liis lullier Jind elder IjroLlicr, and bocuiiie u tnaii 
ol" great wealth. lie purchased the estate ol' Castleton Trom Sir John 
Guthrie in 1G05 ; Knocklcith from James Urquhart, father of his second 
wife, in 1702; Craigston from tiic Duke of Cordon in 1705; and llatton 
from Meklrum of llatton in 1709. 

Baird, who must have known him personally, says, ' He was a ma!i of 
strong natural parts, and a most active industrious spirit. . . . Though 
naturally of a very passionate temper, he could argue with the greatest 
coolness, and was a man of so much acuteness and sagacity that he was 
seldom outwitted in any transaction.' Baird also gives a tale of Patrick 
of Craigston and his brother-in-law, Captain John Urquhart of Cromarty : 
' When the Captain came to Britain in 17'i3 to get three ships built at 
I>ondon for the trade of South America, in consequence of his Licence from 
the King of Spain, he called for the clearances between his father and 
Craigston upon the price of the lands of Knocklcith. Finding the re- 
mainder due to him much less than he expected, he complained, but find- 
ing he could be no better, concluded with saying : " Well, Craigston, I Ml 
tell you one thing. Ill-won gear will not last." " Ha, man," says Craig- 
ston, " i' my saul, man, ye 're a' mistane ; it 's only ill-guided gear that 
Avinna last." ' In the latter part of his life he gave up the trade of ' carry- 
ing meal and malt to the south of the Firth, and confined himself entirely 
to agriculture, which he understood to perfection in the common old method, 
and to buying and selling country bolls ^ of meal. He acquired a pretty 
little fortune from a small beginning, which enabled him to bring u[) and 
give education to a very numerous family of children, leave landed estates 
to the eldest sons of both marriages, and provide for all the rest ; he 
alwisc kept a most hearty hospitable house.' 

The house must indeed have been well filled. Patrick Uuff was 
married twice, first to Anne Innes of Edingight, by whom he had thirteen 
children, and, secondly, to Mary Urquhart of Knocklcith, by whom he had 
twenty-three ; thirty-six children in all.- He is said to have been compli- 
mented by George ii. on the addition he had made to Ilis Majesty's subjects 
in Scotland. Many of the children seemed to have died in infancy, as was 

1 The amount of a boll differed in different parts of the country, and for different com- 
modities, from two to six bushels. For oats in Aberdeen it was the latter quantity. 

^ ' Patrick Duff of Craigston had thirty-six children. There was " Hatton " and twelve 
more by the first wife, Miss fnnes; by the second wife, Mary Urquhart, twenty-three. The 
eldest son (of second marriage), James, married Helen Abercromby, si.slcr of General Aber- 
cromby of Glassaugh, and had one daughter Helen, who married David Clerk.' (Note by 
Baron Clerk-Rattray, son of the last-mentioned. Written (January I2, 1S29) on a family 
tree belonging to Norwich Duff, grandfather of the prcbcnl writers.) 



^(•iicrfilly t!u: case in Lliosct days, l)iit il was (MirrcnL I radii ion lliat twelve 
sons oarricd l*ali-ic'k to iiis grave, and I'our sons ol' Llie lirsL laniily and two 
daughters, and six sons ol" the seeond and live daughters are known to us. 
Ahnost a complete generation must have elapsed between the birth of the 
eldest and the youngest child of this large family, and it is rci)ortcd that 
the father having met a small white-haired laddie playing in the garden at 
Craigston, inquired, ' And wha 's laddie are you ? ' To which the future 
Admiral Robert Duff of Logic and Fetteresso, fifth son, who survived and 
is known to us, of the second marriage, is said to have replied : ' Dinna 
ye ken your ain son llobbic, ye auld fool ! ' 

The complete table of the family of Craigston known to us is as follows 
(this Duff would api)ear to be responsible for about half of those of the 
name now existing in the north) : 

Patimck Dui'i" married, in 1G87, Anne limes (died 1700), daughter of 
John Innes, fd'th Laird of Edingight, and had thirteen children, of whom 
the following six are known to us : 

Alexandek, born 1CS8, baptised January 5. 

John, born 1GS9. 

William, born 1G90. 

Helen, born 1691, baptised October 25. 

Patrick, born 1092. 

Jean, born 1690; married, 1720, John Lmcs ; died 1778. 
He married, secondly, on October 4, 1701, Mary Urquhart of Knoekleith, 
and had twenty-three children. She died in 1764 at Banff. Some of her 
children were : 

James, born circa 1702. 

Thomas, born circa 1704. 

Archibald, born circa 1714. 

Francis, born circa 1715. 

Robert, born circa 1721. 

Adam, born circa 1725. 

Elizabeth, married J. Stuart of Auchorrachan. 

Mary, married W. Leslie of IMclross. 

MAUGAiiET, born 1720, married A. Cordon of Giglit. 

Another married Davidson of Newton. 

Another married Benjamin Duff, an Irishman. 
Patrick Duff died August 3, 1731.1 
The family of Hatton mustlirst be traced. 
The eldest son of the thirty-six, Alexander of Ilatton, was born in 1688. 

« For Palrick Duff's sympathies with tlic Jacobite rising of 1715 sec chapter xxxvi. 


To no one docs IJaird devote so mnch space, and a loni; quolalion IVoni tliis, 
tlie first liistoiian ol' the family, must tliereroie Ijc peimiLLcd liere : 

' As Alex. Dufr of Ilatton was my intimate friend and jxirtieular aequaint- 
ance for above thirty years,* and one who, dnring the whole course of liis life, 
was really in the first class, as a man of the world and a man of business, I shall 
be the more explicit in giving an account of him. 

' He had an excellent understanding — a retentive memory, a clear and dis- 
tinct manner of thinking and of expressing his thoughts on every subject. He 
served an apprenticeship of five years to Thomas Boys, a Writer to tjie Signet 
in Edinburgh, which, with his application and quick parts, made all sort of 
business familiar to him, and gave him a superiority over most men. His abili- 
ties both for public and private affairs were such that he could have been a 
minister of state to any prince in Europe. And the Earl of Findlatcr, who died 
in 1730, used to say that in person, solidity of judgment and address, Ilatton 
put him in remembrance of Sir Robert VValpole. . . . He was a blessing to 
several yoimg Gentlemen to whom he was named Tutor and Curator by their 
parents, in directing the management of their affairs. . . . He did more than 
any man I know to introduce good husbandry amongst his own farmers and in 
the neighbouring parishes. 

' He was alwise on the Commission of the Peace and a strenuous Protector 
of the Country by mitigating the Severity of the Excise Laws, and when any riot 
fell out between a farmer and a malt Ganger, which was frequent at the first 
introduction of that Tax upon Scotland, he had a singular dexterity of saving 
the Offender from punishment, and of this I remember one instance which had 
something ludicrous in it. 

' A malt oflieer came to a Gentleman's house in that neighbourhood, and 
desired his servant, whom he found turning over a dunghill, to give him the key 
of his master's barn, because he was informed there was malt on the floor. The 
servant denied he had the key, and gave the Ollieer so nuicli abusive language 
as i)rovoked the other to strike him. Upon which the servant beat the gauger, 
who then made his complaint to Hatton, and was assured that he should have all 
justice if he summoned the rascal to appear at the Justice of the Peace Court at 
Turriff to be held in a few days. The Gentleman also came to Ilatton asking pro- 
tection for his man, and was " bidden attend the court and bring the Lad with 
him, but that he should get his whole head close shaved, with a wig upon it, in a 
suit of good cloths, with a clean shirt and cravat put on, and speak very smooth. 

' Tlu y all came to court, and Hal ton began by sell ing forth the heinousness of 
the Crime, and concludeil with saying that the ))unishnunt for such a knave 
ought to be transportation. Then the lad was called, and the Gauger asked it 
that was the person who had struck him. He, who did not know him in his 
new figure, cried " lly no manner of means. The fellow who struck him was 
liker to the D(!vil than to that Lad." His master said, if that was not the 

• lie wab also his brotlior-in-kiw, Uic two men liaviiig married biblcrs, daughters of Dipple. 



("liiiiinnl, Iio could iiol. concciN'c who il. coiiM li.ivc hccii, for lie liiid no scrviinl 
uL prcsciil bill. Iiini mid u ixiy ; lli<: olIi<'( r I'ihiikI .•il'lciwiinls lliiil. hr. liiid Ijccii 
I'uii'ly bubbled {i.e. iii;idc J'liii o(), but wiis ublincd to sil, duwii witli llic skiiiLb 
(injury) and the scorn ton.' 

Tlic obituary notice of tlic death of Alexander Duff of Ilatton in the 
Aberdeen Journal calls him, anionf; other thiiif^s, ' The arbitrator and uni- 
versal reconciler oi' differences.' lie married, in 1709, his cousin, Catherine 
Duff of Dipple, who was ' elder than liim by three years and survived him 
five years.' ^ 

On his marriage, his father gave him Ilatton and Knockleith, but, as 
he at the same time took Catherine's portion of 12,000 merks, and more- 
over left the Ilatton estate bare of crops, Alexander v/as indeed, as Baird 
expresses it, ' brought iij) thro' the hard,' and was a jjoor man, comjiaratively 
speaking, for some years. lie was able to add to his resources by obtain- 
ing, in conjunction with Alexander Aehyndachy, the ' factory ' ^ of tlie 
forfeited estate of the Earls of Dunfermline,^ which he managed with great 
success until the lands were sokl in 1727. He very soon began the pur- 
chase of small estates adjoining his own. The first was Rogfontein in 
1719. Some years later he bought Dnmiblair and some other smaller 
properties from Theodore Morison of Bognie, and in 1729 IJalquhollj' from 
John Mowat for £1000, Downics and Auehinhampcr fiom North Leslie, 
and Balnoon from Ogilvie. ' His last purchase was, in 1753, of about 2000 
merks pr. annum of the estate of Kinnairdy, and after all he left 10,000 
sterling settled on good security. In a word, I am convinced no man in his 
time conducted all liis affairs with greater prudence, or, I believe, with more 
honesty, and gave a better example of all commendable industry ' (Baird). 
He died in 1753, and is buried at Auchtcrless. He seems to have been the 
only one of William, Lord Braco's brothers-in-law who did not come to 
him for pecuniary help. A few of his letters exist, but they are not of 
general interest. He appears to have taken no part in the political events 
of his time, beyond the following : 

' Decreet against Alexander Duff of Ilatton for £200 Scots, two years rent 
of a house in Banff, taken and possessed by liim from ^Vllitsunday 174G to 
Whitsunday 1718, belonging to the deceased George Aberiictliy, convicted of 
high treason. 

' It was found proven that Alex. Duff the Defender took the house for one 
year from Whit. 1740 to Whit. 17-17 at £100 Scots of rent ; that the house was 
jjosscsscd ))y the Duke of Ciiniberlaiurs army, the house as a IIos])itaI and the 
L(jwer part as a Magazine, until the first of Nov. following, and that it was with 

' ' Died on 20 Dec. 1758 Lady Ilatton' (Aberdeen Journal). • Management. 

' These included Fyvie. 


(lilficiilty Ihoy would remove and give Llie DiTeiidiT .leeess, and wlien lie pfot 
aceess he was |)ut. Id exi laordinary expense in niiiekinH-, eleaniri!.;', wasliinj,', 
vepairinn-, and litting- it up for being habitable. Tiie Del'euHer was eventually 
allowed to I'ctain his expenses for repairing and cleaning the house, amounting 
to £1G 11 G Scots, out of the half-year's rent ' {Scolfish Fnrfcllcd Estates Papers. 
Scot. Hist. Soc.). 

By his wife, Catlicrine Duff, second daugliter of William Duff of Dipjjle, 
he had seven children : 

1. Patrick, who predeceased his father. He married, in 1738, Mary 
Ogilvie of Inchmartine, and she died in 1784 a widow. Tliere were no 

2. Alexander and 

3. John, who both succeeded to Ilatton. 

4. James, Sheriff-Clerk of Banff. 

5. Margaret, who married her second cousin, Gordon, an officer of 
Customs at Dundee. She is said to have eloped with him, and died 1750. 

G. Jaxe, who married James Abcrnethy,^ third of Mayen. 
7. IIi'.LEN, died unmarried, in 179G, and the following rhyme was 
current in IJanff at the time, referring to the spinstcn- of the family : 

' Gin I M as many braw new gowns 
As Provost Dirom's SufTy- has. 
Gin 1 could walk the streets as clean 
As Mistress Gordon Goody •^ does, 
I widna lain sac lang my lane 
As Hatton's Gley-ed ■• Nelly has.' 

» ' James Aberncthy quarrelled at an election dinner in Aberdeen with John Leith of Leith- 
hall, and shot him dead in the street. He cflccted his escape, but was outlawed and died abroad 
(at Dunkirk, 1771). Lord Fife obtained a gift of his life-rent of Mayen for tlic benefit of Jean 
Duff and her children ' {Frascrs of Philorth). 

These children were : 

1. James, last of Mayen, died intestate 17S5. 

2. John, 1759-1779, buried at Rothicmay. 

3. William, died young. 

.\. Jane, 1751-1S05, married, in 1785, Alexander Duff of Mayen (q.v.). 

5. Isabella, married Lieutenant Graham of the 42nd Regiment. 

6. Helen, 1753-1787, buried at Rothiemay. 

7. Anne, died 1796. 

8. Katherine.* 

And five others died young. Jean Duff died 1780, and is buried in Banff. 
^ Sophia Dirom, afterwards wife to George Duff, R.N. 

' Miss Goodrich Gordon, an eccentric lady who lived in Banff, where she boasted much 
of her connection with the Duke of Gordon, and habitually dressed in the family tartan. 

* Gleyd, cross-eyed, from which we infer that the lady squinted. 

* ' I'uor Killy Atici nolliy is dying ' (1774). 


She is buried in Banff, witcrc |)rosiniiaI)Iy slie lived in lier latter days. 
Her stone is still in (he old ehurehyard, and on it, besides her own name, 
are those of Alexander, Sophia, and Mary, three children of her brother 
James, who died in infancy. There arc no dates. 

Alexander the second of Ilatton, born INIarch 2G, 1718, had married, 
in 1745, his second consin by the father's and first by the mother's side, 
Anne Duff, eldest daujriiter of William, Lord Braco i (she became Lady 
Anne in 1759, when her father was created Earl Fife). By the contract 
of marriage, Ilatton, Knockleith, and Balquholly were entailed on the heirs- 
male of Alexander and his brothers in succession, and he was given immedi- 
ate possession of Balquholly, which he rebuilt, and changed tlie name of 
the house to Hatton Lodge. After his father's death he was very well 
off, and spent a good deal of money - on the education of the only child 
who survived infancy, Jean, married, at seventeen, to her mother's first 
consin. Sir James Grant of Grant. She had fom-tcen children, seven sons 
and seven daughters, and two of her sons were afterwards Earls of Seafield. 

She married Sir James Grant of Grant, M.P., at Bath in January 1703. 
Her fourteen children were : 

1. Lewis Alexander, fifth Earl of Seafield, born 17G7. 

2. Alexander, born at Castle Grant 1772. 

3. James Thomas, born 177G ; a judge in the Indian Civil Service ; 
died 1804. 

4. Francis William, M.P., afterwards sixth Earl of Seafield, and father 
of seventh and ninth earls,^ and great-grandfather of the present earl. 

5. Robert Henry, born 1783. 

6. Alexander Hope, born 1784. 

7. Dundas, born 1788. 

1. Anne Margaret, died unmarried 1827 (sec page 218). 

2. Margaret, married Major-General Francis Stewart of Lesmurdie. 

' From whom he had the salmon fishings at Banff, and in March 1749 writes thus to his 
father-in-law : ' The fishing goes on bravely. We have catchod a good many more than last 
year at this time, and all tlic old fislicrs say the Wattcr mouth was never so direct from the 
sea as it is now — which is a great advantage.' To those who know the present moutli of the 
Deveron between BanlT and IVIacdutf, the quotation is interesting. 

- He has left the accounts of his e.xpenses during a winter tour in England, which amounted 
to £1000. 

' Francis WiUiam, sixth Earl, 1778-1853. 

Jotm Charles, sevcnll> Karl, 1815-1881. James, ninth Earl, 1S17-188S. 

I I 

Ian Charles, eighth Uarl, 1851-18S.). Francis W., tenth Earl, 1847-1888. 

James, eleventh and present Earl, 1S76. 

ToriJat Iwr. ,l> 

2;m. duffs of ttatton 

.'1. .fane, died nntTi.-ii'i'icd ISOO. 

4. IViiiK-l, (lied 1.SI1.. 

5. Cliristina Teresa, died unmarried 179.*?. 
0. Magdalene, died unmarried. 

7. Mary Sophia, died unmarried 1788. 

Jean and lier Inisl^and, witii several of their children, are hinicd in 
Duthil churchyard. There is a portrait of her by Zoffany at Cuikn 
House, and a copy at Ilatton. 

Alexander Duff died in 1764, at the early age of forty-four, as tlie result 
of an accident in falling over a sack of coal in liis own cellar. He broke 
his leg, and it Avas afterwards amputated, but he died a few days later 
from loss of blood.i 

'Hattun Lr)nf.i:, Oct. 20th, 17C4. 

' My Lord, — The Doctor determined yesterday that it was in vain to exjiect 
an effectual cure upon Mr. Duff's Leg, and tliat allowing him to linger on for 
four or five months longer, attempting a cure, was only lumcccssarily endangci'- 
ing his Health, and that after all tluy would be in all human probability obligid 
to cut it off at the last. 

' Thejr therefore spoke of the uncertainty to himself, upon which he immedi- 
ately took the hint, and with the utmost composure bcgd it might be cut off. 

' He underwent the operation this morning and is in as good a way as could 
be expected. His magnanimity and coolness were remarkable through the 
whole and suj^ported the spirits of every one about him. 

^ All this family join in kind compliments to your Lordship, Lady Fife, and 
all at Duff House, and I remain with the utmost regard. My Lord, Your most 
obedt. and affect. Servt., .Tas. Gisan't. 

' I'.S. — Your Lordship will oblige me liy eoniinuiiieal ing this lo IMr. .rMUUs 
Duff as I have not a nionieuL to write. 

' To the Earl of Fife, Duff H.juse, lianff.' (I).) 

Baird thus sums up Alexander the second of Hatton : ' He was an 
honest, generous, sensible man, of a very candid, ingemious ilis|)osition, 
a warm heart to his friends, and nothing sordid or unworthy of a gentleman 
in his nature ; it was a great loss to all his connections, and 1 may say to 
(he countrie in general, that his days were so few ; his Tenants lamented 
his early death as if they had lost their fallier.' - 

• It is almoHl impossible now to realise what sucli an operation meant at that date, and how 
great was the danger. It was prior even lo the ilays when Lord Nelson unconsciously advo- 
cated tlie sterilising i)( the surgeon's laiife liy iirevioiisly plunging il into boiling water, because 
in the amputation of his own arm he had found tlie cold of the steel the hardest thing lo bear. 

* Me left one natural son, Alexander, afterwards Colonel 58th Kcginient and proprietor of 
Mayen. lie married, aiid liis family will be foimd in chapter xviii. 


Tlie estates of Ilatton, Knoekleitli, and I lie oilier entailed property 
llien j)assed to Jolm DulT, hrotiier ol' Alexander, hut tlic latter had lel't 
all personal property and all estates not entailetl to his vviCc and daughter, 
the estates being worth £25,000 a year. To Jean, Lady Grant, went also 
all the family pictures, plate, and ehina. 

To Lady Anne was left a liferent of the mansion-house of Balquholly, 
to which she maintained her right until her death, forty years later. Siic 
died in Edinburgh 1805. Several letters of Lady Anne to her brother 
Arthur, late in life, show her as taking a great interest in the estate, price 
of crops, etc. She was very kind to her various nieces, jjarticularly the 
daughters of Jane Urquhart, kept a liospitablc house, and visited a good 
deal among her neighbours. When nearly seventy she writes : ' Mrs. 
Stewart and family have to leave mc instead of staying till the month of 
October — however there is no loss, iiut there is some small profit, and it 
will enable me to visit some friends this season.' 

There is one aauising letter from lier to her brother James : 

'March, 1788. 

' jMy UEMi LoitD, — I have just now a letter from Mrs. Duff, llousedalc, 
requesting I wd. write your LordsP in favors of a son of Mr. Duff's minister of 
Moninuisk, for his having your Interest for him to be apointcd School Master 
of Keith in room of the Present School Master — who is apointcd 2nd Minister 
of Old Abdn. — Mr. Duff has a large young familie — and I saw this young man 
last Summer — he scem'd modest and well behaved — Mrs. Duff wi-ites me that 
my Br. Alcxr. was to write for James Grant — but left it to mc to solicitatc your 
intrest in favor of Mr. Duff. 

' They do mc a great deal of honor — but I have not the vanitj% but to think 
Alexr. as well intitled to ask a favor as I am and rather better at Present, as he 
has not given j'ou so nuieh trouble as T have lately done — but alls well that ends 
well — (as the Play says) which I hope will be the present case. Lady Augusta 
Hay (Erroll) is to be married Tuesday next to Ld. Glasgow, I 'm glad, as the 
familie are so large of Daugtrs. — the story goes thus — at the Peers assembly — • 
Lord (JIasgow was there — he hates dancing and never dances, he came up to Lady 
Augusta — who was sitting — ask'd her Lap. why she was not dancing — she say'd 
she was not found of Dancing and would not dance that niglit — he requested 
then, to have the honor of being of her Sitting Partie, which was agreed to — next 
that he might be admitted to visit her next day — this was also agreed to, and 
next day he offered to give her himself — which she accepted off. — Adieu, my Dr. 
Lord, with esteem and respects, yours, etc., Anne Duff. 

'The Earl of Fife, Whitehall, London.' (11.) 

And one to her brother Arthur on the occasion of the death of her 
mother's brother : 

lUii 10 


'IIatton LdiKiK, Widnrsilny iiftirnonn 
{riira 1711^). 

' I was c'oiK'crnctl but not surpristd, my Dciir JJinllicr, when l;ist l\).st. brought 
nic the acctts of our worthie Unklc's Death. My £eai's by llie state I knew he 
was in for two years were great — yet as long as there is Life tlierc is some degree 
of Hope, and so was my mind as to him. We both knew liim so well that we need 
say nothing to cacli other as to him, Yet sure enough our rcsideuct in this world 
is so uncertain that those that Love each other, sh'^ as far as they conveniently 
can, enjoy each others society as much as in there Power. I have done so all 
the well daj's of my Life. I depend as all of us docs, upon Providence, if it 
pleases Ilim I w^ wish my Seek days to be short and to see then as few of my 
I'riends, or of those that continues to Love my Driggs * as possible. 

' I '11 assure you what I supposed my mothers feelings might be upon the 
occation gave me true inieasiness, the good acc'ts J^ii Fife gave me yesterday 
of her gave me much pleasure. I have not yet lixed a day for moving South- 
wards as I have various little matters to put into my ordinary method before I 
go, but at no time but that the sight of you will give Pleasure. 

' I unite with you Perfectly in the old adage that we should live like Brethren 
but by no manner of means Count like Jews, for as I wrote you in my last from 
Edn. I gain'd twinty shillings by lending you £100. Instead of having it in the 
hand 1 took it from the ordinary Received interest in General is 2J P.C. so with- 
out obligation upon cither side it is but fair to Return a 20 shUs note and you 
can Calculate whether it is one shilling or Eighteen pence difference by the odd 
four months upon the ten shillings discount of the years |- P.C. 

' My Affte Duty to my Mother with warmest wishes for Comfortable and 
happy days to be her lote. Lord Fife talks of her as an evergreen, he say'd 
for many years he had not known her so well in health, strength, Intellect 
and memorie as Intire as in the best days of her life and that you was absent 
so that they were quit by themselves which enabled him to form a Perfect 

' I have wrote so much to-day that my write is wear to a hair and as I 'm 
convinced you have got enough of the goodness I sh:ill only Request you to 
believe me with my Duty to my INIother antl Aff'*' Regards to Frances, — Your 
truly Affle Sister and friend, Anne Duff.' (0.) 

Some extracts from her will show licr in a very gracious light. ' Cer- 
tain testamentary (iispositions of Lady Anne Duff of IIatton to Sir James 
and Lady Grant, dated IIatton, June 11th, 1805.' 

Among minor legacies occur : 

' To my niece Mary Urquhart, io two Miss Wliartons, Jane Catherine 
Anne Ihodic, Anne Duff, daughter of James Duff and niece to my 

' Dregs, remains. 


late husband, £50 cacli. Also to Anne Duff, daughter to my brother 

' Also to my faithful and exteemed friend, Colonel Duff of Mayen,^ 
whose love and afl'cetion for me have been sueh as a ehild "would possess 
for a parent, I bequeath his late dear father's miniature pieture set round 
with pearls. At the back there is plaeed that father's hair, my hair, and 
Sir James and Lady Grant's hair ; this I know will be an aceeptablc present 
to him. I desire that he may receive my silver tea-kettle and lamp. I 
request that he will at my death give all the assistance he can in rouping 
(i.e. selling by auction) my house in George Square, and in the rouping 
of my furniture there and at Ilatton Lodge. 
' I bequeath £100 to my black servant. 

' To Lady Sopliia Wharton [Iter si&ier] a ring set round with diamonds 
with our father's hair, and another ring witii Lady Gordon's [licr sister 
JaneCs\ hair, set as an urn.' 

John Dupf, styled of Drumblair, possession of which estate and of 
Lensham he had enjoyed during his brotlier's lifetime, was born in 1727, 
and died 17S7. He sueccedctl to Ilatton 1701. lie married, on .January 
20, 1702, his first cousin once removed, Helen Duff of Whitehill, and by 
her had sixteen children : 

Batiiia, born December 8, 1702, died October 3, 1774. 

Anne, born February 17, 1704, died April 8, 1775. 

Alexander, born January 14, 1705, died 1791. 

Patrick, born June 12, 1700, died 1801. 

Clementina, January 10, 1707, died circa 1845. 

Jaues, born August 10, 1768, died before 1789. 

Andrew, born September 17, 1709, died 1819. 

.loiiN, born February 12, 1771, died before 1770. 

Katiierine, born June 22, 1772, died 1805. 

Jean, born Jidy 0, 1773, died 1793. 

William, born Octoljcr 12, 1774, died before 1808. 

John, born January 2, 1776, died before 1789. 

Batiiia, March 13, 1778, died an infant. 

Garden, born November 1, 1779, died 1858. 

Ann, born April 15, 1781, died young. 

Robert, born May 1, 1783, died 1854. 
In 1770 ' the six sons of Ilatton ' were made burgesses of Banff. These 
must have been the six eldest, aged eleven, ten, eight, seven, five, and two. 
In 1790 the three remaining ' sons of the late John Duff of Ilatton ' 

' See chapter xviii. 


wire similarly liononrod. They were Jolni, Cankii, and Kolxrl, a<,'c<l 
romleoii, t'leveii, and seven.' 

All but two of these cliiklrcn died williout issue, sonic in very early 
infancy (and a curious stone in Auchtcrless churchyard conuneniorates 
seven of them).^ The family lived at tlic manor house of ILitton in 
Auchtcrless, and John seems to have acquiesced in all the arrangements 
made by his brother, which inipovcrislicd Ijoth the estate and liimself. lie 
lived ({uictly, saved money, and made some small additions to tlie estates. 

As far as we know, only six of the sons lived to grow up — Alexander, 
Patrick, Andrew, and Garden, who all succeeded to Ilatton ; William, who 
died in early manhood, and Kobert, who became a merchant in Glasgow 
and died unmarried ]S54; and three of the dauglitcrs — Clementina, who 
lived to old age in IkuilT ; Jean, who died in Edinburgli, aged twenty ; and 
Katherinc, who died at Peterhead in 180.5, aged twenty-three.^ 

The daughters had £000 by their father's will, and the sons £700. Helen 
Duff succeeded her brother in Whitehill in 17SC, and left it eventually to 
her son Garden, who sold it. 

Like all the rest of the family, John Duff applied to Lord Fife for help, 
and writes on April 3, 1781 : 

' ]My Lord, — I have seen yuu Lordship very oblidgcing and kind letter off 
the 14th to Mrs. Duff. We arc both very sensible off your kind concern for the 
weelfarc off our ffaniilj'. Wee have resolved to give our children the choice of 
their trade — or business that seems most their own inclination, after sygni- 
fyeing to them \vhat appears to be the business most advantageous to thcni. 
Pettcr our second son made two proposals ; the scaffcaring life or to goe out to 
the East Indies as a Cadctt. Att last lie fTixed on the goeiiig out to tlic East 
Indies : And every stop after has been taken to prepare him as ffar as the edu- 
cation here would doe and its now fTixed that he goe to an Academy in ffranee 
att Calmar in Upper Lusatica to learn the ffreneh languadge and to eoinpleat 
him in the Rlilitary line as it was mentioned to us a proper step ; and Delgaty's 
Eldest son Sandie Garden goes with him who also intends goeiiig into the Army 
in tlic British Service ; wee would only wish to have Petter readie to goe out the 

> Children of well-known men were frequently made burgesses in those days, and the 
entertainment given was varied accordingly : 

Thus to'4i pints rum at making Captain Baird and Captain Lawson burgesses i5/yd., 
I dozen Icmonds, i dozen biscuits and 3 lb. loaf sugar at lod. = .(S. 

' liut to 2 J lbs. raisins for some boys made burgesses i/3d. 17O8, Sheriff Urquharfs children 
niailc burgesses; for confections to them j\s.' {Banff Records.) 

* ' Two daughters named Bathia ; two daughters named Ann ; two sons named John ; ami 
a daughter named Kallicrinc.' 

' Peterhead was then a health resort, and the Aberdeen Journal of that time contains 
frequent lists of visitors to the baths and wells of that place. General Wolfe passed three weeks 
there in 1751 in search of health. See liis Life by Bocldes Wilson. 


I-Ml.l;:! ...•)u.|l. 


next Sprinn; or willi llif lirsL ships off that season for th(? J'^ast Indies ; May I 
presuine to ask the favuiu' of your Lonlshij) to j,'i\<- your aidd to proeure a Oadett 
sliip on tlie IJen^jalc estahlislmient and your ffriendly reeoinniendatiuj,' to any 
of your acquaintances in the ]<]ast Indies ; wee should he happy to iiave my son 
in the same corner witli my wife's brotlier Pctter wiio has experience and is 
long their ; and a good liearted man ; He is just now at Genercll Oodert's att 
Bombay. But as he is upon ihe Bcngale establishment, its niori' than probable 
that upon the pease with the Moratoes ^ he will return their. The ffirst letter 
that his ffriends here getts from him possibly will inform tliem of the place he 
has expectation to be att, whether IBengale or IBombay. 

' Mrs. Duff joins me in our l)est wishes for every ffilicity to your Lordship. — 
I luuc the lionour to be, My Lord, Your Lordship's ver oblidged humbk: serv', 

' .TouN Duff.' 2 (D.) 

Jaimf.s of IBanff, fourtli and tliird surviving son of the first Alex- 
ander of Hatton, was born in 1729, and died 1804. As a boy of six- 
teen he ' went out ' in tlie '45, but was sent home after tlie skirmish of 
Inverurie, and owing to his extreme youtli and tiie family interest tlie 
matter was Imslied up, and he seems to have suffered in no way for 
what was considered his early indiseretion. 

Lord Sciiiplll, catmntmding (d Aberdeen, to the Earl of Albemarle, C. in C. 


'Abehuken, Aug. 21, 174G. 
' My Lord, — . . . Since I have been hear I have been Soliccted by Sir 
Alex. Betd,^ Mr. Duff of Ilatton, and l\Ir. Reed, wlio each of them had a son 
about Eighteen Years of Age, j)rintises in this place, and ^vere unha])])ily Seduced 
to go with the Rebels to Inverurie ; as the above Gentlemen are well affected to his 
Majesty and Government, So soon as they had an account of their having Joind 
thoas Rebels, they Emediatcly Seazed them, wliich prevented them being any more 
concern'd. Your Lordsp. will please observe they arc younger Brothers and men 
oft no Estate nor fortone. I would not give them any passes such as the Common 
Sort of Rebels gels till I know your Lordsp. 's pleasure about them. . . . ' ' 

Sir Iliirrij 1 itncs of Innci to Ludovick Grant of Graiti 

'EnjiN, Hept. Wth, 174.5. 
' Dear Sir, — We ar hear in a pcrpetuall alarm for Glenbueket ; he took 
sumc of the Duke of Gordon's horses and arms this morning, at lest I am credably 

' Malirattas. 

- Jolin's son Peter or Palricl; was appointed Ensign in the 7Stli Kcgimcnt of Iliglilaml 
Fool, Novcmljcr 20, 1781, and writes from Tanjorc, September i, 178S, to tliank Lord Fife 
for tlie many favours lie Ir'.s done liim, for allowing Patrick ' a place in his friendsliip,' and 
for mentioning his name to Lord Cornwallis and Colonel Koss, and asks for assistance in pur- 
chasing liis company. For ' my wife's brother Petter,' see chapter xix. 

' Of li.irra. * Albonarle Papers, vol. i. p. 13.). 


■'{'/AJ' -JfO IT.y P;'IMA{. 

d liw lo i^ahqii jocon 


iiifdrni'd of it, and Ii;iv<- no rcsoii lo (incslioii ils hccin;^ licw. I am sory In (ell 
yiui llial. Ilic J)iiki- is (Hiili' wrDiinc 

' 'J'liis uhinn ami scearcli for lu)i'st'S lias tlL'tLTiniiRcl mc Lo send niiiiu under 
your protection. Yow luivc the most of my cavaliy, and God knows tiiey ar but 
very indifercnt. Was it not mor for humour that they shall not have them, 
then the rcall valow, I should not send one out of the way. Loril 15raco, his son 
Jamie, and Mr. Duff, younger of ITatton,' went to tlic west this day, to be free 
of Gleimie. I met his Lordship as I was walking to Innes, and now I must 
walk, for the divcll of a hors I have worth riding. News I have non. Our 
compliments to Lady IMargarct, and belivc me, yours, etc., 

' IlAniF. Innf.s.' 
(From Fraser's Chiefs of Grcint.) 

' James Duff writers apprentice Hatton, Auchterlcss, Aberdeen, carried arms 
in the eharaeter of an oflieer at Inverury,^ and was one of those who appreliended 
Mr. Maitland of Pitriehie, not known where he is ' (Rosebcry's JAst of Persons 
eoiicerned in the Rebellion. 1745). 

James Duff was afterwards, in 1761, appointed, by Lord Bute, Sheriff- 
Clerk of Banff (in those days a most important post), and Deputy-Keeper 
of Sasines 1765. He received £2200 from his father, and sasine from his 
brother Alexander on various crofts. There are many letters from James 
Duff in the family correspondence, but they are mostly on business and not 
of general interest. He was factor for the estate of Mayen, and did other 
business for the family. A few extracts are given : 

James Duff of Banff to the second Lord Fife 

'Banfi-, 22tid Fehy. 
' Before leaving Duff House, I took the liberty of mentioning a communcing 
that had taken place twixt Mr. Abcrcrombie of Glassa and his Brother the 
Parson, regarding his office of Kings Painter ; the Parson, I find does not incline 
to resign and allow a new conunission to be taken out, so that there is nothing 
to be done at present, but applj'ing for the Commission in the event of his death, 
that is some times done, but I believe not readilj% and very uncertain it is, who 
may have the disposal when it comes to be open.' 

' Alexander, elder brother of James. 

'■' Skirmish of Inverurie, December 23, 1745. Lord Lewis Gordon, with about nine 
liimdred men, Drumonds, Farquharsons, and Gordons, defeated a large body of Government 
supporters under MacLeod of Skye, to whom Lord President Forbes and Lord Loudon were 
anxious to entrust some important enterprise to mark tiicir appreciation of his adherence. 
The slaughter at Inverurie was not great, but about fifty prisoners fell into the hands of the 
Jacobite forces, amongst whom were a son of Gordon of Ardoch, Maitland of Pitriehie, Forbes 
of licht, and Professor John Chalmers of Abenleen Unisersity. 

.; fvM >- £ IT/ UY F n -.-■ B A M i-' E 



T.ord File's answer (noted on tlie Ir.ick of tlie letter, in tlie eonvenient 
niiiimer ol' tliose (inics) : 

' ir the Abcrcroinbics luul af,'recil to take a new Commission willi liini or his 
son included in it whieli, by the by, would not have been excentrie. Tlic only 
favour the Abcrcrombics could do would be to resign, if a new eommission could 
be obtained for Mr. Duff's son.' ' (/?.) 

As early as 1765, James Duff was pining to get away from what he calls 
' this corner,' i.e. Banff, where there was ' little work to be done in the 
business to which he was bred,' and hopes by Lord File's interest to obtain 
some Government post. 

In 1794 he announces that Sir James Grant, his nephew, ' has now 
obtained new commissions for my son and me for keeper of tiic Register 
and Sasines and Clerk to the Peace.' 

On February 3, 1802, he writes, referring to James, fourth Lord Fife : 

' The anniversary of the Queen's liirthday was held here, on the 18th ult. 
with great splendour. We had an elegant dinner at AVatson's Hotel, and after 
having a suiricient portion of w'lr^ went to a ball given by the Volunteers of the 
Trades Company, where we enjoyed ourselves till one in the morning, and then 
Sandy Milne and I supped at G. G. Robinson's with James Duff, the heir of File, 
where we set till 3 a.m., but this is not at all uneommon for ever since Mr. Duff 
eame to this country we have not dined till 5, and seldom or ever went home 
before 2, 3, or 4 a.m. when he was of the party. He is very nuich liked here on 
account of his affability and agreeable manners.' (7?.) 

James was twice married, first, at the age of twenty-six, to Helen Skene 
of Rubislaw,- who bore him a daughter, Helen, and two sons, Alexander 
and George ; dying when the latter was six weeks old, March 12, 17G4!. 

And, secondly, on February 1, 1772, when forty-three, to Margaret 
Dunbar of Kincorth (aged eighteen), whose mother was Isobel Aber- 
cromby of Birkenbog, and had by her thirteen children, several of 
whom died yoinig.^ 

First Famihj 
Helen, 1756. Alexander, 1758. George, 1764-1805. 

' The ofHce of King's Painter was worth about £100 a year until the emoluments were 
reduced by Burke. Sec page 123. The Rev. Thomas St. Clair Abercromby seems to have 
held it until his death. 

^ 'On I2th Aug. 1755, was married in this place, Mr. James Duff, Advocate, to Miss Nelly 
Skene (daughter of George Skene of Robslaw, Esq.), a young lady posesst of every accomplish- 
ment that can render happy the connubial state ' (Aberdeen Journal of that date). 

'' In 1790, ' Three sons of James Duff, Esq., Sheriff-Clerk of Banff, were made burgesses of 
Banff.' No names given. 


•> •,".',■ 'AmV y <\\' 


Second Fa mi 1 1/ 

Jamks, 177;]; his birlh is inciilioMcd Isaiiki.i.a, cirrii 1780. 

l)y lifiird, writing in 177;j. CATirKiuNE, chca 17cS2. 

Maky, 1774. Anne, 1781-1870. 

James William, 177G-1797. Sophia, 1785. 

Fife, 1778-1800. AiiotluT, died young. 

John, 1779-1801. 
Helen, the eldest, made a runaway marriage with Thomas Bell, a travel- 
ling actor, against her father's wishes, and the younger children were for 
long unaware of her existence.^ In her father's will a sum of money is 
left to her, but in the event of her death, her husband was not to benefit. 
Ten days after the marriage Helen writes from Abeideen : 

'May i)lh, I'iiZ. 

' My Lord, — I the more readily address myself to you in my present sitca- 
tion as your Lordship was not altogctlier unacquaintctl with an attaehnient 
I had formed when I had last the pleasure of sueing you in lianff, many eauses 
have eoncurred to forward that atalelinicut into affceLion wliieli has since ended 
in marriage. I shall be plain with your Lordship and relate a eircumstance 
that pointed out the above eonelusion as the most adviseable and indeed only 
step that I could take, which tho' it may not entirely efface your Lordship 
displeasure, I sincerely hope it may in some degree mitigate it. I must confess 
I ventured myself with Mr. Bell (as no clergyman could be found in Aberdeen 
who would mai-ry us) as far as Montrose where we arrived late at night and 
were to have been married next morning had not his supposed friend who 
travelled with us at Mr. Bell's jjarticular request, most maliciously and without 
provocation plunged a case-knife into his stomack and in so dangerous a manner 
that the whole of the Physicians there pronounced his recovery ini]H)ssiIjIe, the 
event however has proved they were mistaken and as I\Ir. Bell concluded the 
accident could not have happened had I not been of the Party lie imagined that 
having suffered so much entitled him in some degree to my hand which was 
given to him in the presence of some of my own Relations, it being now known 
tliat he is a Gentleman's son his father having been long an Olliccr in the 55th 
Ivegt. and now respectably settled in Ireland and his Stage profession was 
entirely owing to a temporary disagreement between them not a passion for it, 
well knowing the universal detestation in which it is held in this Coimtry. Now, 
my Lord, permit me to explaine to your Lordship the reason of me thus troubling 
you — Gentlemen who have conversed wilh l\Ir. Bell have been pleased to think 

1 In the Register of St. Paul's Episcopal Church, Aberdeen, appears : 
' April 28, 1782. Thomas Bell, son of Captain Bell, Dublin, ami Helen Duff were married '; 
no witnesses given. But the actual wedding seems to liavc lal;en l)la^;e at Montrose, which is 
curious. It was possibly a Scottish marriage only, followed by the church ceremony on the 
return to Aberdeen. 


ruvoiiruhly (if iiim ;uirl say liis (.diKtalion lias hciii lihiial and snils Iiim for any 
(■niployiiiinl, and I am ci riain your Lordsliip's i^oodniss will |il( ad in my (.xcusc 
wIrii 1 solliciL in liis hclialf, he is now my Inishatid and I am anxiously desirous 
for his welfare and flatlering myself IhaL yon will be pleased to think a httlc 
favourably of the connection I presume to offer him to your Lordship's considera- 
tion, as your Interest and Influence are both unquestionable permit mc earnestly 
to entreat a small exertion of them in providinf^ him with some small appoint- 
ment many of which are in your Lordship's power which will ensure me happi- 
ness and prevent necessity from forcing him to his late profession, which at all 
events he is determined to relinquish untill such time as he sees if anything will 
be effected for his interest, and as my dependence is entirely upon your Lordship 
let me not sue in vain, and your compliance will put mc in your gratitude to 
acknowledge your Lordship's favour while I have existence. — I am, Rly Lord, 
Your Lordship's most obedient and very humble servant, 

' Helen Duff.' (D.) 

And again from Edinburgh, January 23, 17SS (six years later) : 

' My Lord, — I took the liberty to write to your Lordship some time ago 
requesting the loan of Ten Pounds for a particular purpose, but as I have not been 
favor'd with any answer I must conclude that cither your Lordship is offended 
at my request, or if your Lordship wrote, the letter miscarried : the immediate 
want however of that sum induces me to apply again and to state the cause : I 
have two little white-headed boys the oldest is at home with myself running 
about, but the youngest is out at Nurse who is at present very clamorous for 
my arrear to her, which is almost eight pounds, and in conseciib lu-c of my 
deficientcy I fear will use the Boy ill : I wish greatly to pay her and take him 
home. My Father (I must say) is an unjust unfeeling hardhearted man and 
consequently nothing cou'd move him to give mc the least assistance : besides 
at present he 's at law with my husband. I have only to say if your Lordship 
will condescend to listen to my application it Avill be ever gratefully aeknowled 
by your Lordships Truly Thankful Friend and humble Scrvt., 

' Helen Bell.' (D.) 

In 1703 James wrote to William Rose, ' Would it be prudent to cause 
try by some unconnected person if my poor daughter and her husband 
would upon granting bond for a certain sum discharge the claim of legitime. 
]\Ir. Lachlan Duff was employed for me in the dispute with them.' 

Helen Bell had four cliildren : 

.John, who went to tlie West Indies, where he did well, and died before 

George Skene, whose baptism is registered in Aberdeen 1788 ^ (Register 
of St. Paul's Church), but of whom nothing more is known. 

' He was probably not christened till he returned Iroin liis nurse. See above. 

>inudl xUri'i tqi: 

1 1// 


Helen and Elizabeth, who married into a hnmhlo rank of life, and 
some of their descendants are still in Banff. 

The children of these two daughters arc enumerated as numbers 69 
to 75 in the Fife entail of 1841. See chapter xiii. 

Alexander, eldest son of James of Banff, was at college in Aberdeen, 
but died young. 

George was the distinguished officer killed at Trafalgar, and will be 
treated of in the next chapter. 

Of the second family, the first James died an infant, and is one of those 
buried in Banff. He was ' nameson ' to Lord Fife, and his niother writes 
thus to her husband's cousin, who was obviously a kind friend : 

' JIy Loud, — I had the lionour of your Lordship's letter by last post and 
rcturncs you my best thanks for your kind cnquairrys for me and your namcson 
who I thank God is very stout and thriveing. He was inoculated about ten 
days ago and is getting very easily over the small-pox. You shall have the 
direction of him whenever you wish. 

' The pattern of paper your Lordship is so good as send me I do think is very 
genteel and pretty and very suitable to the furnitur in the room. The Dido 
round and painting below it I think will be a great improvement. Your Lord- 
ship is very good in remembering it. I sliould not have wondered from the 
hurry and Ijustcl of the great world you are in had you not done it so soon. 

' Poor Mv. Aberncthy who is with us is in a very declining state, his complaints 
are come on so rapcdly that I much fear all remcdys for his recovery will be 
ineffectual. It will always give Mr. Duff and I much pleasure to hear of your 
Lordships being in good health, we hope you will soon thinking of returning to 
Duff House ; he joins me in best rcsjieets and good wishes to your Lordship. 
Nelly begs her best respects may be offered you. — I am, your Lordships much 
obliged humble servant, Maugt. Ogil. Duif. (D.) 

' Banff, Ajiril With, circa 1776.' 

Of the next three, ]\L\RV, Jam1':s William, and Five, there is a charming 
portrait, now in the i)ossession of I\Ir. Walter Blaikie. It is on the authority 
of their younger sister Anne, Mr. Blaikie's grandmother, that the portrait 
is said to represent these three. ^ 

The second James lived to be twenty-one, and is buried in the Grey- 
friars church, Edinburgh. The following inscription was on his tomb- 
stone, but has now disappeared : 

' James \Vm. Duff, son of James Duff, Escj. of Banff, who died July 28, 
1797, aged 21 years. To whose memory this stone is erected by his afliictcd 

' Tlie dalcb ol birUi lor some members o( Uiis family arc only conjccUiral. 


parents, as a tribute of their affection for a eliild whose ci)n(hiet in Hfc was 
siieh as to leave them ever to hinient his loss.' 

This James was educated at Aberdeen University (King's College), and 
appears in the Roll of Alumni 1789. He was afterwards articled to George 
Robinson of Gask, writer, and was then employed in the ofTice of Messrs. 
Brodie, who acted for Lord Fife in Edinburgh. One brief letter of his has 
been preserved, and one from his father on his death : 

'Uani-k, \2th Ja/i/ 1797. 

' Dear Sir, — Your most friendly condolauce for my dear Jamie I 'm certain 
is most sincere from you, as you always exprest a warm attachment to him, and 
he was ever gratcfull, this severe stroke has much disconcerted me, and his 
poor mother to be pitycd, I do what I can to conceal from her my feelings to 
support her, but nothing will do, but time and the assistance from Ilavcn. I 
will be glad to sec you at any time convenient, the visits from a friend gives 
pleasure. To you and all your friends at Montcoffer Mrs. Duff unites in good 
wishes. — I always am, D. Sir, Yours, James Duff. 

' To William Rose' (Mrs. Blaikic.) 

Fii'K was a midshii^man, and died in ISOO, when administration of his 
estate was grantctl to his father. (Registers at Somerset House.) 

John's death in 1801 is chronicled with regret in the journals of the 
period, and he must, therefore, have been ' a grown man,' and have come 
thus early in the family, but nothing is known about him. 

Isabella died young. 

Catherine lived long in Banff, and when over seventy went to Bath, 
and finally to Cheltenham, where she died before 1840. She took into her 
service Jane Suttie, granddaughter of her half-sister Helen, and was very 
kind to the rest of the family. 

Anne, the youngest daughter but one, married Mr. Walter Biggar, and 
died at the age of ninety-two, leaving one daughter, now Mrs. Blaikie, 
mother of fourteen children,' and numerous grandchildren and great- 

Sophia, known to have been younger than Anne and one other, both 
died as infants. 

James Duff died in 1804, and is buried in the old churchyard, Banff. 

' To the memory of James Duff, Esq., 4th son f)f the first Alexander Duff of 
Ilatton, who died 19 Nov. 1804, aged 75. As a just tribute of dutiful regard, 
this stone is placed over his remains by his affectionate widow, daughter of 
James Dunbar of Kincorth, 1805. 

• The second son is Walter Biggar Blaikie, LL.D., author of the Iliiicrary of Prince Charles 
Ldward Stuart, and other hiotoiical and antiquarian works. 




' James, Isabella, and John Duff, their children are ))nricd here. And 
Alexander, Sophia and Mary in the Grave with their aunt, Mrs. Helen Duff. 

' Also Margaret Ogilvic Dunbar, Widow of the forenanied James Duff, 
died 1829, aged 75.' 



To return to tlie main line of Hatton. 

On the death (in 1787) of John Duff of Hatton, he was succeeded 
by Alexander his third child and eldest son, 1705-1791. He married, in 
1787, Mary Leslie of Glcnmyre, of the family of Melross, and had three 
daughters : (1) Mauy, born 1788 (Byron's Mary), afterwards Mrs. 
Cockburn ; (2) Helen, born 1789, afterwards Mrs. Tod ; and (3) 
Margaret, born 1791, died 1803. 


In a letter from James Tmlaeli, long resident and well known in Banff, 
written, August IG, 1870, in liis ninety-second year, to tiie Rev. Dr. J51aikie, 
there is the following aecount : ' Byron is vividly in my mind, as a smart 
little fellow, exactly of my own age, wlien in Banff, end of last century, 
and I met him at his aimts, the Misses Gordon of Gight, and his mother. 
Dame or Lady Gordon of Gight was with him — the youth then visiting 
the young Duffs of Hatton. Mary, who became Mrs. Coekburn ; Helen, 
Mrs. Tod ; and Margaret, who died. All dancing school partners of 
mine. How bewitching was JIary, no wonder the young lord lost his 
heart.' ^ 

And George Huntly Gordon, writing to Nolcs and Queries in 18.58, says : 
' I observe in the Times of IMarcli 10, the death of the lady, Mary Duff of 
Hatton, who certainly lighted the; first flame in the too susceptible heart 
of my illustrious namesake. Byron told my father at Brussels, in 181G, 
that he was in love with her at Banff in his ninth year, that some of his 
earliest verses were addressed to her, mentioning that she was a j'car older 
than himself, though from her age as given in the oliituary I think she 
must have been born in the same year, and that she was slightly his junior.- 
He never saw her after he left school in Aberdeen. . . . When I saw her 
she was in the zenith of her beauty.' 

Byron himself writes : ' I have been thinking lately a good deal of 
Mary Duff. I have never seen her since we were both the merest children. 
I have been attached fifty times since that period, yet I recollect all we 
said to each other, all her caresses, her features, my restlessness, sleepless- 
ness. My tormenting my mother's maid to write to her for me. . . . Poor 
Nancy thought I was wild, and as I could not write for myself, became my 
secretary. I remember, too, our walks and the happiness of sitting by 
Mary, while her lesser sister Helen played with her doll, and we sat gravely 
making love in our way.' {See Byron s Journal of 1813 in his Life hij Moore.) 

Mary Duff married, in 180.5 (when only seventeen), Robert Coekburn, 
a wine merchant of Leith and 0])orto (of the family of Cockpen). 

They had five sons : 

Archibald and Alexander, who were in the i'amily business, and died 
unmarried ; John Montague, who went to South Afi'iea, where he married 
and left a large family ; Robert, a sailor, drowned in ISaC ; Garden 
Duff, who died young in 1810; and one daughter, Helen Clementina, 
married Admiral Hugh Dunlop, and had one son, James. 

• After her faUier's deatli Mary lived for some time with her grandmother, Helen Duff, in 
the Hatton town iioiise in tlio Iligli Street, Ranlf ; now ilemohshcd. 

- Byron was born January 22, 1788, and Mary DuU later in the same year. 


Mrs. Mary Cockbiirn died in 1858, aged seventy.^ 

IIcT sister, Helen Duff, married John Tod in 1808, and had thirteen 
children, whose desecndants are now very numerous : 

1. Tliomas, born 1809, married Ameha Cumniing. 

2. Alexander, born 1810, o.s.p. 

3. Helen Clementina, born 1812 ; married David IMnir, and had issue. 

4. John Robert, 1814,-1850; married Jemima Wharton Duff {q.v.). 

5. Mary Jane, 1821-1901 ; married, 1843, G. Ross, and had issue. 

6. Charlotte Joanna, 1823-1901 ; married J. Maconochie, and had 

7. Caroline Jane, born 182C ; married Thomas Graham Murray, and 
was mother of Lord Dunedin. 

8. Louisa Garden, born 1828; married, 1859, Charles Fellows, and 
had issue. 

9. Joanna, born 1831 ; married, 1876, Thomas Abdy Fellows. 

And four others died unmarried, and all before 1841, at whieh date 
the nine cliildren above mentioned appear in the Fife entail (see chapter 
xiii.). Helen Tod died in 1873, aged eighty-three. 

Alexander's father-in-law. Major Leslie of Glenmyrc, was a man of 
large ])ropcrty, and settled on the children of the marriage £2000, and the 
succession to all his property, subject to their mother's liferent. Alex- 
ander died of apoplexy in 1791, at the early age of twenty-six, and the 
property passed to his brother Patrick. 

Alexander's death is thus chronicled in the Scots Magazine : ' On 
November 3, 1791, death of Alexander Duff of Hatton. The estates 
go to Patrick his brother, now under the command of Earl Cornwallis in 
the East Indies.' Patrick was at that time Captain ii\ an Independent 
Company of Foot (transferred from the 72nd Highland Regiment). The 
company was disbanded in December of the same year, and he was j)laccd 
on half-pay, but was brought into the 74th Regiment as Captain in 1792. 
On his return to Scotland, a dispute arose between him and the trustees 
of his late brother as to the unentailed estates. The trustees claimed 
the right to sell these estates and pay all debts, and invest the money for 
the benefit of Alexander's three young children, while Patrick maintained 
that, subject to the debts, the estates should go to the heir-male, i.e. him- 
self, but he had to give way on this point and all lands not in the original 
entail were sold for £15,000. That to which Patrick succeeded was indeed 
not much from a pecuniary point of view. There were three jointures to 

' Tlicre is a portrait of licr, reproduced from a crayon drawing, in the Cochbum Pamily 
Records: Foulis, lidinburyli, 1913. 

70T"'/lf ffO ?. 


pay to llic widows of liis tlircc prciloccssors. T-ady Anne, liis aunt, liad 
■tSOO per annum, and tlie lil'cronl of Bahinliolly. Helen, Jiis nioLlier, had 
£151, and still iicld her own pro])crty ol' VVhitehill. Mary, his sister-in- 
law, liad £200, and her children had the interest from the £15,000 quoted 
above. As actual income from the estate Patrick would seem to liave 
received less than £300, hut he lived on good terms with all the family, 
and managed to raise money by granting long leases, for several lives, of 
large portions of the estate, and receiving in return what were known as 
' grassums ' from the tenants. He never married, and died in ISOl, being 
succeeded by his brother Andrew, who had been hi the Navy, but 'owing 
to the effects of an attack of fever in the West Indies, he lost his reason, 
and was ever after ineaj)able of managing his own affairs.' ^ 

Admiral Robert Dul'f, shortly before his death, wrote to Lord Fife : 

' HatHj V.Uli Junnnry 1787. 

' My dear Lord, — On receipt of your letter of the 15th inst. I applied to 
two of my Naval acquaintances who were here but command Guard Ships at 
Portsmouth for their assistance to get Andrew Duff into a Coursing Ship, which 
I am persuaded they will do, and acquaint me wlien they have success. I did 
not ask them to receive him on board one of the sliips they command as he could 
not improve in his profession there. 

' Yesterday I wrote to Andrew Duff setting forth the difficulty of getting 
preferment in the Navy and earnestly recommending it to him to make choice 
of some other profession, but did not mention my having made any application 
to get him on board a man of war as that miglit have contributed to prevent 
his choieing another profession.' (D.) 

For eighteen years the estates were managed, in Andrew's name, by his 
younger brother Garden, who succeeded him on his death on August 12, 

Garden, the fourteenth child and eighth son of John of Drumblair and 
Ilatton, was born in 1779, and died in 1858. He was a Major in the Banff, 
Moray, and Nairn Liglit Infantry Militia. In 1805, his aunt, Lady Anne, 
died, and released her jointure, and in the same year lie married Louisa 
Dunbar, daughter of Sir lienjamin Dunbar of Hempriggs (she died at 
Aucliintoul 18C5). In 1827, on the death of his cousin, Sir Benjamin 
assumed the title of Lord Duffus, but this was disputed, when he went to 
vote at the election of Scottish representative peers, by claimants in the 
female line, and lie never proved his title, tiiougli he was calle<l Lord Duffus 
to the day of his death. Tlie title is now dormant. Louisa's brother was 

Andrew Hay of Ranncs, Iiis great-uncle, after whom he ^vas named, left him ,(ioo in 1789. 



Sir George Dunbar ol' Ilcinpriggs (crcution ol' Nova Scotia). lie died 
unmarried, and owing to tiic special terms ol' tlic patent ' to liis lieirs-male 
whomsoever ' tlie baronetcy passed to the iieirs ol' Louisa (see page 252). 

Garden, who was the eighth Laird of Ilatton, enjoyed possession of 
it for nearly forty years. lie greatly improved the ]iroperty, rebuilt 


llatton Lodge, formerly Ralquholly, which Lady Anne had allowed to 
fall into disrepair, and nnmed it Ilatton Castle.' 

lie died, in 1858, in his eightieth year, from the clfeels of an accident, 
having broken his thigh in a fall, when rising from liis eliair in the 

' Garilcn Duff of Hatton writes to Rose about engaging a servant February 19, 1S08. 
Rose replies that the applicant ' asks £1^ in the half year to furnish clollics for himself or 
^10 in tlic half year and to be furnished with a suit of clothes. Coat, siuall clotlis, a waist 
coat and jacket in the half year. Tea for breakfast after it comes from llie talilc, as to other 
mailers whatever is customary in Ihe ho\isc. Clollios waslied.' 

Garden Duff writes ayain tliat the terms arc too high. ' 1 could get a thorough-bred liouse 
servant from Edin. for very little more. If my service is agreeable to him my terms are 
/12. 10 in the half year, furnishing himself in every article of dress, and that he always appears 
clean and neat and proper in his tU'ess. He shall likewise have tea in the way mentioned, and 
his washing. His work to be coufined to the house entirely, but he is likewise to brush my 
cloaths, boots and shoes, etc. Sliould he not be inclined to accept of these terms I will llianK- 
you to get nic his answer immediately in oriler thai I may be upon the outlook for some other 
person." (R.) 


(liiiiiii,'-i'<)om.' IK; was tmicli i-cj^rcllcil. I!c; li;ul live sons anil lliicc 
(laii^^lilcrs : 

1. John, 1807-182'.). 

2. Benjamin, 180S-1S07. 

3. Garden William, 1814-1S6G. 

4. Robert George, 1817-1890. 

5. James, 1820-1898. 

6. Jessie Eliza, 180G-1883; married Alexander Morison of Bogiiic, 
and died without issue. , 

7. Helen, 1809-1889 ; married James Buchan of Auchmacoy : one son 
Thomas, 183G-1S6G ; one daughter Louisa, died 1010 ; botli unmarried. 

8. Louisa Clementina, 1811-1883, unmarried. 

John, the eldest son, died at the age of twenty-one from rapid eon- 
sumption, brought on, apparently, by a fall from the top of a coach. 
Benjamin, who thus became the eldest son, was disinherited by his father, 
who was dissatisfied with his conduct.^ The estates Averc rc-cntailed on 
Garden ^VILLIAM, the next son, and Benjamin was left by his father's will 
only £-100 per annum for life. Benjamin served in 92nd Highlanders, 
passed into the half-paj' list as a Cajjtain in 1835, and retired in 1844. He 
lived for many years at Duddingston, and died there in 1897. 

He married, when quartered in Ireland, Ennna Haines, sister of Field- 
iMarshal Sir F. P. Haines, and had by her four children : Garden, 1838- 
1889 ; Louisa, 1833-1845 ; Helen Emma, 1S35 ; and Jessie, 1843 (married 
to the Rev. Courtenay Moore, and had five children). 

Garden, the only son, became an Ensign in the 79th Cameron High- 
landers in 1855, served in the Indian Mutiny, sold out in 18G0, and entered 
the Indian W^oods and Forests Department. He married, in 1877, liis first 
cousin, Louisa Duff, and died in 1889, leaving two sons, George, born 1878, 
and Kenneth James, of the Royal Navy, born 1886. Garden succeeded 
in 1875 to the estates of his great-uncle, Sir George Dimbar, and assumed 
in consequence tlic additional surname of Dunbar. His son George was 
first in tlie Cameron Highlanders, and subsequently went to India and 

• Falls would seem to have been specially fatal to the Hatton family : 

Alexander (second) of Hatton died from the effects of a fall over a sack of coals, 1764, 
aged forty-four. 

Alexander (third) died of an apoplectic seizure in 1791, aged twenty-six. 

Lady Duflus, mother-in-law of Garden Duff, died from a fall oU some steps, March 15, 
1857, aged ninety. 

Garden Duff died from the effects of a fall from his chair at the age of eighty, 1858. 

John Duff, his eldest son, died from the effects of a fall from a coach. 

^ The entail was invalid under the Entail Act of 1848, as it put no limit to the money which 
could be borrowed on the estate. 


jfjincd Ihc iJlsL I'linjabis. lie served in llie Abor expedition. lie mari'ied, 
in l()();i, Syl)il 'J'uit (who died in 1!)11), and lias one son, CiEoKOb: Cospatkick, 
born I'JOG.i 

Garden William, the tliird son, wlio thus succeeded to ITatton, was 
born in 1814, and died in 18GG. He married, in 1850, Douglas Isabella 
Maria, daughter of Beauchamp Colclough Urquhart of Meldrum, and for 
the lirst nine years of his married life lived at Gask, where his seven elder 
children ■were born. His first wife died in June 18G1, and in 1862 he 
married Jean, daughter of Walter Cook. lie had in all ten children : 

First Family. 


Annie L., Louisa H., 1852- GardenA., Beaucliamp, Janet Douglas, George, Douglan 
1851-100(1, IIJOS, m. Francis 1853. 1855. 1850-1008, born and Mary, 

unmarried. Pollard Urquhart m. Alexander died 1850. 

of Craigston. L. Duff. 1858. 

Second Family. 

I ' ' r I 

Walter, ISISH, Royal Irish Constabulary 1888. Mary Elizabeth, llcrtha Ilojie, 1806-1807, 

Resident JIagiHtratc of Dowupatrick, 1011, 1801. m. Alan C. Duff, 

ni. Elizabeth Lcith. Indian Civil Service. 

He did a great deal of rebuilding on the farms on his estate, and was 
much interested in the welfare of the agricultural labourers, founding the 
DulT Society for the Relief of Farm Servants. He died at Harrogate, 
September 17, 1866, having only held the estates for eiglit years. 

He was succeeded by the present owner, G.vrden Alexander, born in 
1853,- who was educated at Harrow and Cambridge; taking a first-class 
History Tripos, and playing Association footljall in the first two Inter- 
University matches in 1875 and 1876. He was a IMajor in the Banff, Moray, 
and Nairn Militia. He is now a Director of the Great North of Scotland 
Railway, a Trustee of the Seafield property, and Convener of the County 
of Aberdeen. He married his cousin, Annie I. Urqidiart of Meldrum, 
and lias two sons. Garden Beauciiamp, born ] 879, Captain in the Cameron 
Highlanders, married, in 1913, Doris Lindsay Smith ; and Beauciiamp 
l'ATRicK,bornl891, who will succeed, in the right of his mother, to the estates 
of Meldrum and Bytli. The only daughter was Mary, b. and d. 1881. 

' Sir George Duff .SutlierUind Dunbar assumed the title of si.xth Baronet of Hempriggs and 

Ackcrf;ill on (lie ilealli of his f;nvndfa(hcr in 1897, and obtained from llic Lyon King of Arms, 

in l8i)9, a warrant lor the nuilriculation, to him, of the arms which belonged to the first 

baronet in 1706. 

- tiarden Alexander, horn 1853, m. 1S78, Annie ls:ilicl Uriinliarl (if Meldrum. 

I ^ 

I • " ' \ " '" I . „ 

Garden Beauchamp, 1S79. Mary, born and died iSSi. Beauchamp Patrick, 1891. 

A N M -U . ; s A !.; l; l ['j:i<.'i'. : H /\ ; ;: r . 
w]!j; Of :;/\1<xl;n />.l,^,:^J^^:ui•K .lUi't C; 

./7y ,'///.//< /,-, 


His l)rotlior, Cciunul Sir I?i:aik'iiami' Ddi'I', CXM?.,' I)Oiii IHfjr*, cnUrcd 
tlic Koyjil Artilluiy in 1871., servctl in l.lic M'^liiui War 1,S7.S ;ukI ]«7U, and 
was vvitli Lord llobcrts at Cubul. He joined the Indian Staff Corps, and 
was gazetted to the 9th Bengal Infantry, now 9tli Gurkha Rifles. In 1887 
he entered the Staff College, from which he passed out first and returned to 
India, where he was employed at Army Headquarters, first as an Attaehd, 
and subsequently as D.A.A.G. He took part in the Isazai Campaign, and 
subsequently in the Waziristan Expedition, 1S0J.-]8'J5, including the 
action at Wano, being twice mentioned in despatches, and made a Brevet 
Lieutenant-Colonel. On return, he became Military Secretary to Sir 
George White, and subsequently to Sir Charles Nairne and Sir William 
Lockhart. He returned to England to take up the appointment of 
Assistant ftlilitary Secretary for Indian Affairs to Lord Wolselcy. In 
September 1899 he accompanied Sir George White to Natal as Military 
Secretary, and was i)resent during the siege of Ladysmith, as well as 
at the actions at Elandslaagte, llietfbntcin, and other fighting whicli 
])rcecdcd it. 

At tlie conclusion of the siege, he joined Lord Roberts' staff as Assistant 
Adjutant-General, and was present at the actions of Vet River, Sand River, 
the surrender of Johannesburg, and other actions up to the occupation of 
Pretoria. He returned to India in the beginning of 1901 as Deputy 
Adjutant-General. For his services in the South African War he was 
twice mentioned in despatches, and was made a C.B. and received the 
Queen's medal with five clasps. He was ajipointcd Brigadier-General to 
command the Allahabad district in 1902, appointed Adjutant-General 
in India, and promoted Major-Gencral in 1903. In Jlarch 1900 he was 
promoted Lieutenant-General, and on the same day was appointed Chief 
of the Staff to Lortl Kitchener in India, and created K.C.V.O. In 1907 
he became K.C.B., antl in 1910 K. C.S.I. He was ])romotcd General in 
1911, and created G.C.B. at the Coi'onation in that year. In 1909 he 
i)ccame Military Secretary at tiie India Ollice, which office he held for 
four years, and in October 1913 his appointment as Commandkr-in-Chiei' 
IN India was announced. He is Colonel of the 9th Gurkha Rifles. 

His elder son, Beaucharip Oswald, in the 1st Gurkhas, received the 
medal of St. John of Jerusalem for saving life, in recognition of his services 
at Dliarmsala in connection with the disastrous earthquake of 1905. He 

' Sir neaucliamp, G.C.B., K.C.S.I., K.C.V.O., C.I.E., born 1S55, "i. 1876, Grace WooJ, 
(laughter of Oswald Wood, Punja!) Uncovenanted Civil Service. 

I i I 

Beauchamp Oswald, iSSo, Evelyn Douglas, 1877-1S97. Douglas Garden, i8S5. 

m. Mary Lander. 


li;i(l |)r('viously served in ilic M;i.lisii(l-VV;i/.iri CiunpjiiffM 1001-1002, 
iiicdul :ui(I cImsii ; iitkI in; 0|)(-nil ions ;i<^';iinsl llu; I\1iill:ili in 
Sonnililand, lOO.'J-lOOl-, medal and clas)). lie married in lOOS Mary Lander. 

DouciLAs (Jauokn is in the firm of Torr and Co., solieilois, London. 

The third son of Gartlen WilUam Duff, ^VAIyrl•:Il Gaiiuicn, born 1 803, was 
in the lloyal Irish Constabulary, and is now Resident Magistrate at Down- 
patrick. He married Elizubetii, daugjiter of Major James Leith, V.C., 
and had two sons, Eric Garden, 1802-1809, and Guy Leith Assiieton, 
1893, now in the Royal P'ield Artillery. 

Of the six daughters of Garden William Duff, Annie died unmarried 
in 1900. 

Louisa married her cousin, Lieutenant-Colonel Francis Pollard 
Urquhart, now of Craigston. She died in 1908 without issue. 

Janet married her first cousin, Alexander Dnfi' (q.v.), and died 1908. 

Douglas Mary and Mary Elizabeth are unmarried. 

Bertha married her first coushi, Alan Dul'f (q.v.), and died 1897. 

The immediate younger brother of Garden William of Ilatton was 
Robert George, of Wellington Lodge, Isle of "Wight, 1817-1890. He was 
a Ca)}tain in the 12th Regiment (East Suffolk), but retired in 1847 on his 
marriage with IMary Astley, niece of Thomas Asslieton-Smith of Vaynol, 
who died at Tid worth in 1828, and had three sons : George William, 
Charles Garden, and Henry Assheton, and one daughter, Louisa Alice. 
On the death of Mrs. Assheton-Smith in 1859, the Vaynol estates and a 
large i'ortune came to lUtbert's eldest son George, born 18 IS, who took the 
additional surname of YVssheton-Smith. He was a great lover of wild 
animals and kept a number of these, including wild bears and wild white 
cattle, in the park at Vaynol. lie married, in 18S8, Alice Stanhope Jones, 
and had one daughter Enid, born 1889. At his death, in lOO-l, the estates 
and name passed to his next brother Charles. 

Charles Garden, born 1831, married (1) Hon. Maud Frances Vivian ; 
(2) Mary ]<!li/,abeth Rrinsley Sheridan; (3) Sybil Mary Versehoyle. His 
only son, Robert George Vivian, born 1870, entered the 2nd Life Guards 
in 1900, married, in 1903, Lady Juliet Lowther, daughter of fourth Earl 
of Lonsdale, and has one son and one daughter. At the coronation of 
King George v. Charles Asshcton-Smith was made a baronet. 

Hknry Assiieton, born 1802, married, 1800, Emily Alice Pauline 
Morgan, daughter of F. M. Morgan, Esq., and has one son Frank, 
born 1901. 

Louisa Alice Duff, born 1853, married, in 1870, the Hon. Husscy Cres- 
pigny Vivian, afterwards third Lord Vivian. He had a distinguished diplo- 
matic career, and died at Rome, November 1893, while Ambassador there. 


/■'/vm. p/ii'fM/m/i/, fii/.Vriri/y itjiif J-'oj: 


Tlicy liad fotir cliildrfn : Ccor<To. Crcsj)i<rny IJrabnzon, fourth Lord 
Vivinn, 1S78; twins, Violet Mary Jiiui Durolliy Maud (Doris), now 
Lady llaiff, nuiids of lioiioiir to Qiiccti Alexandra; iind Alexandra 
Mary Frecsia, 1S90, now wiTc of Lord Worslcy, eldest son of the Karl 
of Yarborough. 

The fifth son of Garden of ILatton was James, I)orn 1820. Became 
Captain in tlie 74th liejiimcnt, Colonel of the Banlf, Moray, and Nairn 
Militia. He served in the Kaflir War, and at the close of one engagement 
was in command of the regiment owing to the death of the Colonel and 
other officers. He marrictl Jane Bracken Dunlop, daughter of Alan 
Colqulioim Dunlop of Edinbin-gh, and had i'oiu-tecn chiklren : 

1. Jane Louisa, 185G. 8. Ctiarlks Edmund, 1803. 

2. Mary Clemkntixa, 1857-18G7. 9. John, ISOi. 

3. Garden Llanoe, 1Sj8. 10. IIf.len, 18G5. 

4. Jessie 1\Iargaui;t, 18.59-1910. 11. Katiieiunf., 18G0. 

5. Alan Colquhoun, 1800-1897. 12. Kose j\Lvuy, 1808. 
G. Jamks DuiT, ISGO. I'.i. Alice, 1SG9. 

7. Alexander Ludgvic, 1862. 14. Mabel, 1871-1910. 

After his retirement, and until his death, he lived at Knocklcith, in 
Auchterless, where l)e built a house on the farm left to him by his father 
on a thirty-eight years' lease. He acted as guardian during the minority 
of his nephew Garden, and subsequently as curator for Miss ^Vharton 
Duff of Orton. His eldest son is now rector of Turriff, and had one son, 
Garden Andrew, who entered the Army and died in India in 1900, and 
three daughters, Enid, Kathleen and Hf-len. 

The second and third sons, Alan and James, who were twins, took 
scholarships at Fcttes from home in 1870. Alan entered the Liilian Civil 
Service, taking fifteenth place in the Indian Civil Service examination in 1 878, 
but as there were only thirteen vacancies he competed again in 1879, and 
took first |)lacc ; he then took a Foundation Scholarshij) at Trinity College, 
t'ambridge, and was there until 1881, when he went out to India, and 
served in the Central Provinces. In 1893 he was appointed De])uty- 
Cfjuunissioner of .Tubl)idpf)re, and died there in 1897 of fever in<lMccd 
by overwork in connection with the famine, his wife Bcj-tha dying a 
few weeks later. He left one son, Ludovic Jamks, l)oi-n 188!). 

His twin brother James Avas head of Fettes in 1877-1S78, and gained a 
scholarship at Trinity College, Cambridge, in the latter year, and in 1879 
a Foundation Scholarshii) at the same College, took a first class in the 
Classical Tripos in 1882, and was elected a Fellow of tiie College in 1883. 
He still resides in Cambridtie. 

Ino.f M- 

7?T^'n.T0'> TO Y-ny/'T 


ll(; iiiiiiTicd, ill 1,H'.)r>, l,;iiir;i ('(iiiyiiHlnini, aiid lins llircc sons iiiid Iwo 
(hiiij^lilc'rs : 

1. Alan Colquiioun, November 11, IcS'.Xi; seliolar of WellinjrLon. 

2. James Fitzjames, February 1, 18!)S; scliohir ol' Wiiieliester. 

3. Patrick Ludovic, Fcliruary 22, 1901. 

4. Mauy CJeraldine, 190 1. 

5. Hester Laura Elizabeth, 1913. 

Alexander Ludovic Duke, fourtli son of Colonel James Duff, Avas born 
February 20, 18G2. He entered the Navy in 1877, and has served on the 
China, Soutii African, and the North American stations. He was pro- 
moted Commander in 1897, Captain 1902, Rear-Admiral 1913. 

In 1900 lie was appointed Dcputy-Com])troller of the Navy. In 1909 
he had command of the Temcrairc in her first commission. He was sub- 
sequently Commodore of the Naval Barracks, Portsmouth, and in 1911 
was ajjpointcd Director of Naval Mobilisation. C.B. in 1912. 

He married, in 1880, his first cousin, Janet Douglas Didf, who died, 
after a long illness, in 1908. Tiiey have two dauohters, Helen Douglas, 
born 1887, and Dorothy Alexandra, born 1890. 

CiiAitLES Edmund, the fifth son, born 1SG3, was first in the merchant 
service, then became a doctor, and finally took Holy Orders, beino 
now the vicar of Sydling, Dorset. He married, in 1892, Mary Susan 
Smith, and has two sons, Ian Archibald James, 1894, and Colin 
Guthrie, 1895. 

John, the sixth son, born 1SG4, went to California, where he had a fruit 
farm. In 1897 he married Constance ICvelina Pratt, who died leaving 
one daughter, Frances Evelina, born 1898. 

He returned to England, and in 1904 married Lily Clough, who died 
the following year, leaving a daugiiter, Lily Katheiunj'., 1905. 

Of the daughters of Colonel James Duff, the eldest, Jane Louisa, born 
1856, married lier first cousin, Garden Duff, afterwards Duff-Dimbar, as 
already mentioned. 

Mary Clemi:ntina, died 18G7, aged ten. 

Jessie Margaret, born 1859, became an hospital nurse, was night 
superintendent of Cliaring Cross Hospital for several years, and was then 
appointed matron of the Infirmary in Dundee, where she died in 1910. 

Helen, born 18G5, married George Whistler Pratt, and lives in 

Katherine, born 18GG, married Cecil Robcr ■, Stevens, Indian Medical 
Service, and has two children : Cecil James, born 1893, and iMignonette 
Kathleen .lean Duff, born 190G. 

Rose Mary, born 18G8, married, 1901, James Brignell Dand, 1st Innis- 

>MUit »i) 



killcn Fusiliers (he died in Egypt in August lOOl), leaving one son, Alistair 
James Dull", I)()i'n 1!)02, and a seeond, born allcr liis lallici-'s dealli, llieliai'd 
Travels IMiddlelon, I'JO.j. 

The two youngest daughters, Alici;, born 1S09, and IMabel, born 1871, 
were unmarried. IMaljel died IDOS. 

Tlie descendants of the first Garden Duff ol' Ilatton, tlie fourteenth 
child of John Duff of Ilatton and Druniblair, now number nearly seventy. 

1. PATRICK DUFF op Ciiaioston. 

. Aloxaiuler Duff of Ilatton, 1GS8-I7&:i. 

3. Alexandc 
of iratti.ii, 

ni. Janu'u CIra 

JIargaret, Jane, 

. (Joiilon, in. J. Aher- 

ditil irriU. iiutlir. 

•I. Jolin of 
aii.l nation, 

I Sixteen cliililrcn — 

I Four Bons succocilcd to Ilatton^ 

. - |-" i ^ 

;i. Alexander, 0. Patrick, 7. Andrew, 

17i;5-17'.ll. ]7i;iMS01, 17IW-1S1'J, 

I V.S.p. (J.S.p. 

Three dauyhters. 

Jamca of Banff, 


Penjaniin, U. Garden William, Koljert, 

1SUS1S:)7. IHM-ISUG. 1S17-1S'J0. 


10. Garden Ale.xander, 1853. 


Garden Ecauchami), 1870. 



In the two hundred and five years since Ilatton was purchased, there 
have been ten lairds : 

1. Patrick, the purchaser, who held it for a few months only, and made 
it over to his son. 

2. Alexander, who held it for forty-four years, 1709-1753. 

3. Alexander, his son, held it for eleven years, 1753-1701. 

4. John, his brother, helil it for twentj'-tiirec years, 17(J1-17S7. 

5. Alexander, his son, held it for four years, 1787-1791. 
G. Patrick, his brother, held it for ten years, 1791-1801. 

7. Andrew, his brother, held it for eighteen years, 1801-1819. 

8. Garden, his brother, held it for thirty-nine years, 1819-1858. 

9. Garden William, his son, held it for eight years, 185S-18CG. 

10. Garden Alexander, his son, who entered upon possession of the 
estate when thirteen years of age, and has already hckl it longer than any 
of his predecessors. 




The complete genealogical tables of tlic Ilatton family are given 
again in full for the sake of clearness. 

ALEXANDKH DUl'T, 1''irst op UirroN, 10S8-1703, 
in. 170S) Catherine Duff of Dipple, 1085-1758. 

Patrick, Alexander of Hatton, 

m. Mary Ogilvio 1718-17C4, 

of luclimartiue. m. Lady Anne Duff. 


John of Drumblair, 

1727-17S7, m. Helen 

Duffof Whitehill, 1744. 

d. 1802. 



m. Alexander 


d. 1785. 

d. 179ii. 

Mar^'aret, James, 

d. 1750, 1729-1804 

. Gordon. See next 

page (u). 

n. Jainea 


0.3. p. 


liathia, Alexander, Patrick, Clementina, Andrew, John, 

17(52. 17(;3-17'.ll, 1700. 1707-1845. 170'J. 1771. 

Ann, ni. Mary James, Catherine, 

1704. Leslie. 1708. 1772. 

I I 


I I 


in. Hon. 






i. Cockburn. m. J. Tod. 
(b) sec next page (c). 

in. Emma 

Garden W. 



Garden S., 

m. Louisa Duff. 



m. A. Mori 


Helen Kmrna, 



in. J. 


m. Rev. Courtenay Mc 

George, Kenneth J., 

1878, ISSG. 

m. Sybil Tait, 
d. 1911. 
George Cospatrick, 
(1) Gardem William Durr, 1814-1S66, 
m. Erst, Douglas Urquhart ; m. secondly, Jean Cook. 

Courtenay, 1870. 

Alexander, 1872. 

Rita, 1874. 

Jessie Louisa, 1876. 

Mona, died young. 

Annie, Louisa, 

L851-190G. 1852-190S, 
m. F. Pollard 

m. Doris 


b. and d 



Garden Alexandei 


m. Annie I. 









m. A. L. 



b. nndd. 



George Duff 




m. Alice Stanhope Jones. 


, ISeauchainp, 
m. Grace 


I I I 

lioauchanip 0., Evelyn, Douglas, 

1880, 1877-1897. 1880. 

m. Mary 

(2) Robert Gkoroe Doff, 1817-1890, 
m. Mary Astlcy. 





m. Els 




r, ftlars' 

Guy L 

E., ISerthal 

1. 1800-181 


Mth Assheton 

Sir Charles Garden 
Assheton-Smith, Bart., 


m. first, Maud Vivian ; 

secondly, Mary Sheridan ; 

thirdly, SybirVerBohoyle. 

Robert G. V., 

m. Lady Juliet Lowther. 


I I 

Da|>hne, Charles, 

1904. 1907. 

Louisa Alice, 


ra. thin' Lord Vivian. 

Henry Assheton, 

m. Lily Morgan. 


I I (twins) I I 

George, Dorothy, Violet, Alexandra, 

1878, 1879. 1890. 

fourth Lord Vivian. 









fifth snn 

Iiuiu Ounl 


)f niirdeii 

Duff of Hatton, 

1 . 





1 (l.«, 

il.H) 1 




1 1 
.Tulin, Helen, 


Rose M., 

1 1 









1K(M, 1805, 












in. first, m. 





E. Dunlop. 


L. Con- 

J. Duff. 

M. Smith 

, C.Pratt. G.Pratt. 

C. Stevens 

J. JJand. 




15. Duff. 








d. 1908 







1898 ; 














J. Alison, 




L. Clough. 





d. 1894. 

■ 1901. 











(a) James Duff of Banff, 1729-1S04, fourth son of the first AIe.\ander Duff of Hatton 
(great-uncle of the above), 
m. first, 1755, Helen Skene, d. 1704 ; m. secondly, 1772, Margaret Duubar, 1754-182 





1758, died 



d. 1811.5, 
m. 1791, 


n, (!e 


go Helen, Elizabeth, 
e, in. ni. 

G. Suttie. A. Weir. 

1 792-1 8i;2, 
m. Helen 
1811, d. 1895. 


James W., 


John, Isabella, Catherine, 
1779- 1780. 1782. 


Mary A., 

d. 1790. 


d. 1803. 




W. liiggar. 





b. 1823, 

m. Rev. \V. G. 

lUaikie, D.D. 


Fourteen children. 

Iclen Sophia, 



d. 19(14. 

;vor, 1800. 
liur, 1S05. 
■Ion, lKi;7. 
ice, 1870. 

I.I I. I I I 

Duncan, IIcnri(!tta A., Louii'a, George N., E. Alexander .T., Adam Gordon, 
18,37-1841. 1842-1879. 1842. 1845-1818. 1.SI7, 1849. 

m. A. K. llarnct. 

Georginna L., 


II, in. W. J.'l\iylei 

d. 1S80. 


Constance, 1808. 

Henrietta, 1809. 

Alistair Norwich, 1870. 





Aline M., 



I I (twins) I 

Beatrice, Alexander Walter 
1883. Gordon, Norwich, 

m.A.T.Riscoc. 1884. 1884, 

I m. M. Wilson. 


Alco Julian, 

Edward Rupert, 


(I) Maby Dcff, 1788-1805, daughter of the third Ale.-iander Duff of Hatton, 
m, R. Cockburn. 

Archibald. John Montague. 

d. 1830. 

Garden Duff, 
d. 1819. 

Helen Clementina, 
m. Hugh Dunlop. 

(c) Helen Duff, 1789, daughter of the third Alexander Duff of Hatton, 
m. J. Tod. 

Iioman, Alexander, 
W- 18.57. ■ 1810. 



.Tohn Knl.ert, 

Mary J., 




Joanna, 1 

II 1 1 
our others 








died in 









D. Muir. 

J. Duff. 

G. Rosa. 

T. Maconochic. 

T. Grahan- 

C. FcUowcH. 

T. Fellowca. 

.li-iV/ .n •triiitl^.i.) 




Geoiige DufX'", second son of the first marriage ol' James Uul'f of Banff, 
■was from his earliest youth passionately fond of the sea, and was al\va}^s 
to be found among the boats in Banff harbour, near his father's house. 
At the age of nine he managed to coneeal himself on board a small merehant 
vessel, and actually sailed to a neighbouring port. His father -wisely 
realising that a bent so strong ought to be followed, had him shortly after- 
wards rated to a ship of war, and for four years he was carefully educated 
with a view to his future {Jrofcssion. At the age of thirteen he was sent to 
join his grand-uncle, Commodore (afterwards Admiral) Robert Duff, who 
commanded at Gibraltar with his (lag on board the Panther of sixty guns, 
September 1777. During the next three years George Duff had the good 
fortune to be in thirteen engagements, in the American War, in the Mediter- 
ranean, and in the West Indies, and in consequence of his gallant services 
was made a lieutenant at sixteen. In 1780 he sailed with Rodney to the 
West Indies, in the Montague, seventy-four guns, and was in her when she 
was blown out of St. Lucia in a hurricane and nearly lost. On this occa- 
sion he was wounded by a falling spar. He was still serving in the JSlon- 
tague at the glorious ' Battle of the Saints,' April 12, 1782, when tlie Comte 
de Grasse, Commander-in-Cliief of the French fleet in the Ville de Paris, 
one Imndred and ten guns (then the largest ship in the Avorld), and four 
other ships of the line were taken and brought to Jamaica. 

In 1790, when on home service. Lieutenant Duff was recommended to 
Mr. Dimdas, Minister for Scotland, by the personal exertions of the Duke 
of Gordon, and shortly after was appointed commander of the Martin 
sloop of war on the Scottish coast. 

His father also wrote the following letter, which recalls the urgent 
requests of Lady Anne Barnard to the same Henry Dundas, afterwards 
Lord l\Iclville, to obtain employment for her husband (see her Memoirs, 
South Africa a Century Ago, 1901). 

Extract from letter from James Duff, Banff, to Earl of Fife at White- 
hall, London, dated I\Iay 24, 1790 : 


' . . . I slinll bo ever seiisildo of your prolcclifni, my Lord, to iny son, the 
picsciil. biisslo givts llulU'rinff Iiopcs to those? in liis profession innu'sUy wishinj,' 
promotion, I confess my expectations arc only fi-om llic wiir beiiifjf of some 
duration, and my son being in the licet where most success may be, chance only 
can determine that, anxiety is not to be avoided, but its wrong to carry too far. 
In the meantime he has got employment, patience for the rest, this is my doc- 
trine to him, yet he still points further, induced from a circumstance only made 
known to me a few days before he left this, of anc intended conneeLion twixt 
Jliss Sophia Dirom and him. I remonstrate to no effect further, than to prevent 
thinking of marriage untill it could be done with a prospect at least of decent 
competency ; that was agreed too and there it rests ; but Miss Diroms friends arc 
most desirons to get George forward, with this view they have solieite the Duke 
and Duchess of Gordon who have wrote favourably of him, the Duke to Lord 
Chatham, the Duchess to Mr. Dundas, the consequences will in time appear, 
but Im not sanguine, the young ladys friends arc. Before the application avms 
made it was communicate to me, my rcph% tliat I had no tittli- <ir claim to 
solieite in that quarter, they might if they pleased, only I mentioned tlie uiiMrnnt 
made I would mention the subject to your Lops. I Hatter myself your Lop. 
would not disapiiro\e of it, but continue your protection. . . . ' (D.) 

On May G, 1791, George Duff married Sophia Dirom, to whom lie had 
been attached since cliildiiood.^ 

After his marriage George Duff fixed tlie residence of his family at 
No. 9 South Castle Street, Edinburgh, now the well-known book shop of 
Douglas and Foulis, the house having been sold by his grandson. 

There were five children — one son, Norwich, born August 5, 1702, and 
four daughters : 

Mary Anne Fotheringiiam, born 1794, died 1796, buried in Grcy- 
friars, in the grave of her imclc, James William ; the inscription is now 

Jemi.aia, born 1799, died in 1803, buried in Grcyfriars. 

Georgina Helen, born 1803, died 1831. 

Anna INIargaret, born 1804, died 1827, in the same year with her 

1 Mr. Alexander Dirom was laird of Muiresk, and had a town house in Banff. He was a 
solicitor in Edinburgh, but when he married the daughter of Dr. Fotheringham he settled in 
Banff. Alexander Dirom was Sheriff-Substituto for the county and Provost of Banff, and died 
in 1788. 

He had two sons : John, born and died 1750 ; and General Alexander Dirom, who served 
in India against Tippoo Sahib. In 1793 he married Miss Pasley of Mount Annan, Dumfries ; in 
1814 he retired to Mount Annan, and died 1830. He had several .sons (to whom Thomas 
Carlyle was tutor), but the estate afterwards passed into the female line. 

The provost's two daughters were Grace, of whom a miniature still exists, and the above 
Sophia, both buried iu Grcyfriars churchyard, Edinburgh. 


ilmI .Ith/ ia'>'' smn?i 


'Upon the breaking out of the war in 170.3, (Jcorfje Duff was one 
of tlie very few niastcr-commanders appointed j) by Lord 
Chatiiam, who had known him at Gibraltar when IiiniscU" a captain in the 
Army. At his lordship's desire, Captain Dul'f soon after relinquished the 
command of a frigate then fitting out for him (in which at so early a period 
of the war he would probably have made his fortune) to go on an expedition 
to the West Indies as captain of the Duke, ninety guns. This ship led the 
attack on the batteries of Martinique. 

' His next appointment was to the Ambuscade frigate, in the North Sea, 
and upon the coast of Ireland, and subsequently to the Vengeance, seventy- 
four guns, belonging to the Channel Fleet, which was detached to the 
Baltic to reinforce the fleet off Copenhagen (1801). The squadron under 
Rear-Admiral Campbell, of which the Vengeance formed part, was then 
sent to Bantry Bay to protect the coast of Ireland, and during the mutiny 
which broke out there the crew of the Vengeance were found to be so much 
attached to their captain that they refused to join it, and in consequence 
were the only men allowed shore leave at Portsmouth when the squadron 
came there, previous to sailing for the West Indies. 

' Upon the general promotion in the Navy which took place in April 
1804, Captain Duff was appointed to the command of the Mars, seventy- 
four guns, and immediately joined her, off Ferrol. His ship formed part 
of CoUingwood's small squadron off Cadiz. When Vice-Admiral Lord 
Nelson returned from England in the end of September to resume command 
of the augmented force, Captain Duff had the honour of commanding the 
small inshore squadron of four sail of the line, stationed midway between 
our frigates which cruised close to the harbour of Cadiz and our fleet which 
kejDt out of sight of that port. On the 10th and 20th of October, the ]\Iars 
Avas kept almost constantly employed transmitting signals from the frigates 
to the fleet, relative to the movements of the French. On the memorable 
morning of the 21st, when it was certain that the enemy's fleet could not 
escape, the signal was made for the ships of Duff's squadron to return and 
take their places in order of battle, and the Mars was ordered to lead the 
lee division of our fleet and to break the enemy's line. Knowing liis ship 
to be a slow sailer, Duff ordered every stitch of canvas to be instantly set 
and ordered his gunners not to waste their fire, as he would " take care to 
lay them close enough to the enemy." ' — (Memoir by his son.) 

Notwithstanding every exertion, the Mars was passed by the Royal 
Sovereign, bearing the flag of Vice-Admiral Collingwood, and the Belle 
Isle, both of which were in action a few minutes before lier, each ship 
})rcaking through a different part of the enemy's line. The wind, which 
had before been light, now dropped, so that the rest of the shijjs were 


prevented from closinfr immediately with the enemy, nnd tlicsc three were 
for 11 time isolated. The Mars was attaekcd by u Freneh ship on either 
side, and had a Spanish first-rate on her bow. There was a I'ourth ship 
also within range. The ship on the starboard quarter, the Fougueux, 
was soon disabled, and it was thought she had struek, but her colours were 
only shot away, as she never ceased firing. She shortly after raked the 
Mars, and a cannon-shot killed Captain Duff and two seamen who were 
immediately behind him ; his body fell upon the gangway, where it was 
covered with a Union Jack until after the action. The rest of the battle 
could not be better described than in the following letter from a young 
Banffshire midshijiman : 

'Mars, Oct. 29, 1805, Gibkuai.tkr. 

' My dearest Motuer, — Victory has at last given me an opportunity of 
writing you, a victoiy fatal and glorious, wliich you shall judge of by the follow- 
ing account. On Saturday the 19th of October the signal was made that the 
cnncmies fleet consisting of 3C sail of the line, 5 frigates and a brig had put to 
sea. Admiral Nelson made our signal to look out during the night and by no 
means to lose sight of the enemy, we kept sight of them that night, and all the 
following day and night. At daybreak on Monday we saw them formed in a 
line of battle to leeward ; at ten o'clock Nelson made a general signal to bear 
up and our signal to lead the van, but the breeze dying away, the Royal Sovereign 
got ahead of us ; and at half past eleven commenced a dreadful fire. We 
followed her, the Belle Isle next ; it unfortunately became calm, and left 
us three ships in the centre of the enemeies fleet. Judge of our situation, wc 
engaged five ships at one time. 

' Captain Duff walked about with steady fortitude and said, " My God, what 
shall we do, here is a Spanish three-decker raking us ahead, a French one under 
the stern." In a few minutes our poop was totaly cleared, the quater deck and 
forcastle nearly the same, only the Boatswain and myself and three men left 
alive. It was then the gallant Captain fell. I saw him fall. His head and 
neck were taken entirely off his body, when the men heard it, they held his body 
up and gave three cheers to show they were not discouraged by it, and then 
returned to their guns. We fought two hours and a half without intermission, 
and when the smoke cleared away we found five ships had struck. By this 
time the rest of our fleet came up, and at three o'clock the action was renewed 
and continued until sunset, at which time our fleet were in possession of 19 sail 
of the line of cimemics ships, besides two that were blown up in which perished 
9 hundred men. It was a dreadful sight, nothing was to be seen but ships with- 
out masts, two were so bad that they sunk a little while after the action. 

' The gallant Lord Nelson fell, and with him four captains,^ we had an hundred 
and ten men killed and wounded, four midshipmen and Captain of Marines. We 

' There were, in fact, only two captains of ships killed at Trafalgar, Duff and Cooke, whose 
monuments face one another in the crypt of St. Paul's. 


uaforluM.alcly jjot VLiy Inul wciitlicr iifUr llic net ion und was worse a loc 
sliorc wliiuli forced us lo eust off our prizes to save ourselves from heiii^r losL. 
\Vc sunk on purpose 9 of our best pri/.es to fear of then) falling into Ihe enneniies 
possession again. 19 English and 1 hundred Spanish went down in the Saint 
[illegible] nearly double the lunnber in the licduuiahlc Freneh 81. I cannot 
exactly tell you what perished in other ships ; in short, out of 22 sail of the line 
taken only three escaped the rage of the sea and elements, which we ha\e now 
got in Giberaltcr. 

' Our fleet has got 19 thousand prisoners on board not counting these that 
were killed and lost which arc thought to be about 5 thousand, we have got the 
French Admiral Villcnuve on board ; the French lost four admirals and a 
General for they had troops on board. Ne\er has there been such a action 
before. They came out on purpose to fight and were nine ships of the line 
superior to us. The wind was [tivo words illegible] Cadiz which port received 
the rest of their shattered ships, had the wind been otherwise we should certainly 
not have left a single ship of the combined fleet of France and Spain to carry 
home the news to Bonaparte of so compleat a victory. We arc now laying in 
Giberaltcr and expect hourly to return to England as we are entirely disabled, 
having lost all our masts and rudder, our stern is all shot away. Were you to 
see the ship the look of her would make you shudder. 

' We received the thanks of Admiral Collingwood who so nobley distinguished 
himself in the Royal Sovereign, and has command since Nelson's death. 

' I am perfectly well, and Cuthbert Collingwood in good spirits. Norwich 
Duff is gone on board the Donegal. I shall have no more time, and for my own 
affairs you shall know more in my next Jetter. — I am, your affectionate son, 

' T. Robinson.' 

On board the Mars were killed, besides Captain Duff, Alexander Duff, 
master' s-mate, acting lieutenant, Messrs. Corbjai and Jlorgan, midship- 
men, and twenty-five seamen and marines. Tlic wounded amounted to 
ten olliccrs, five petty officers, and sixty seamen and marines, in all over one 
hundred killed and wounded. ' Captain Duff was a man of fine stature, 
strong and well made, above six feet in height, and a manly, open, benevo- 
lent countenance. During thirty years' service he had not been four years 
unemployed, and that was twenty months after his return from tiie West 
Indies in 1787, and not quite two years after the last war. Although he 
went early to sea, he lost no opportunity of improving himself in the 
theory as well as the practice of his profession, and acted tlie part of an 
instructor and a father to numerous young men who were under liis com- 
mand. By his wife he had five children, of whom a boy and two girls, 
aged one and two years, remained together with their mother to mourn 
his death. He was known in the Navy as " W^orthy Duff." ' {Scots 

Wj-jl.Li'.n oi\ Uif. niurniii^ oT Trviralgai' 




George Duff's son Norwich, thirteen years of age, had joined him as a 
midshipman just a month before the battle, and wrote the following letter 
to his mother two days later. At the same time she received a brief letter 
from her husband, A\'ritten just as he was going into action : 

To Mrs. Duff, South Castle Street, Edinburgh 

' Monday morniug, '2\st Oct. 1805. 

' My deauest Sophia, — I have just had time to tell you we arc just going 
into action with the combined [fleets]. I hope and trust in God that wc shall 
all behave as becomes us, and that I may yet have the happiness oC taking my 
beloved wife and children in my arms. Norwich is quite well and happy, I 
have, however, ordered him off the quarter Deck. — Yours ever and most tnily, 

' Gko. Duir.' 1 

' My dear Mama, — You cannot possibly imagine how unwilling I am to 
begin this melancholy letter. However as you must unavoidably hear of the 
fate of dear Papa, I write you these few lines to request you to bear it as patiently 
as you can. He died like a licro, having gallantly led his ship into action, and 
his memory will ever be dear to his king and his country and his friends. It 
was about 15 minutes past 12 in the afternoon of the 21st Oct: when the engage- 
ment began ; it was not finished till five. Many a brave hero sacrificed his 
life upon that occasion to his king and his country. You will hear that Lord 
Viscoimt Nelson was woimded in the commencement of the engagement and 
only survived long enough to learn that the victory was ours, " then," said that 
brave hero, " I die happy since I die victorious," and in a few minutes expired. 

' I have written my uncle a long letter and have enclosed one to my Aunt 
Grace, containing a short narrative of some particulars of the action. Wc are 
now all aboard the Eurijalus with the Hon. Captain Blackwood and in compli- 
ance with the wish of Admiral Collingwood arc now on our wixy to England that 
we may have an opportunity of more readily knowing j'our wishes respecting 
the arrangement of our future conduct. Captain Blackwood has indeed been 
very polite and kind to me, and has requested l\fr. Dalrymplc to let my xmclc 
know that on account of his acquaintance with my papa he will feel himself 
very happy in keeping mc on board his ship and to acquaint him that his annual 
allowance to young gentlemen in his ship and under his charge is fifty pounds, 
half of which he wishes to be deposited in the hands of his agent once in six 
months ; however I would much rather wish t(^ see you and to l)e discharged into 
the guard ship at Lcith for two or three months. My dear Manuna, I have again 
to request you to endeavour to make yourself as happy and as easy as possible. 
It has been the will of heaven and it is our duly to submit. — Believe me, your 
obedient and affectionate son, Noiiwicii J)uFF.' 

Kcproduccd opposite. 

OV«J I— , 


P.S. by Mr. Dalrymple, afterwards purser : 

' Miis. Duff: Dear Madam, — It is with sincere uncasyness and regret that 
I have occasion to offer my condolence to you on the late unfortunate but glorious 
and honourable fate of our worthy and generous and brave Captain, whose name 
will ever be revered and whose character will ever be esteemed. Believe me, 
your ever respectful and ob: humble servant, W. Dalrymple.' 

The originals, together with the fine portraits of father and son by 
Raeburn, the medal awarded to Captain George's widow, his sword and 
other relics, are now in the possession of Mr. Edward Alexander Duff, 
grandson of Captain George, and unele to the present writers. 

The following poem appeared at the time in the Gentleman' s Magazine, 
December 1805 : 

' Say, s;iy, my country, does a tear remain 
To soothe the wives — the widows of the slain ? 
Has Nelson's loss quite dried the lucid rill 
Whence pity erst was wont her cup to fill ? 
Let names less splendid claim one gratel'iil tear, 
The last sad tribute o'er their early bier. 
Does Duff's, does Cooke's ^ brave death no pang impart. 
Nor plant one dagger in the feeling heart ? 
Alike they fell to guard their native shore. 
Alike to be lamented — " When no more." 
Let Duff's sad wife your fond compassion crave 
A husband, son, enveloped in tlie grave ; 
A husband whose unceasing kindness proved 
How much he valued and " how much he loved." 
Though no famed titles graced his transient span, 
She mourns him equally, she loved the man. 
A son whose youth had been her constant care, 
Whose life presented joy, whose death, despair. 
Think what a sound the dreadful tale reveals. 
Think what a heli)less wife, a mother feels. 
Shall she not claim one drop from British eyes, 
One cheering word which mercy's tongue supplies.'' 
Shall she, like Philomel, be left alone 
To vent her anguish and to make her moan, 
Unseen, unfelt, unpitied, e'en unknown? 
Shall Duff's, shall Cooke's bright stars refulgent blaze 
Perish, in Nelson's more resplendent rays .'' 
Blush, blush, I say, and those whose blood was shed 

• Captain Coolse of tlie Bellcrophon, also killed. 

CAMiV-.lIJ GKOJxGi; Ij U ^ 

tit, .'Ju/lfnru H^K-hli 


To pjiiard tlieir country, oh revere when dead ! 
To each their well-earned niecd of praise aji|ily, 
Let eaeli partake the trihulary sigh. 
He Nelson's fame as Luna's fullest pride, 
Theirs as the stars which twinkle by the side, 
And that brave troop whose still inferior Hght 
Is darkened in oblivion's deepest night. 
All, all demand your pity and your praise! 
Though crowned with cypress, they deserved the bays. 
All these should share all'ection's warm applause ; 
All perished nobly in their country's cause. 
So shall succeeding tars with parting breath 
Bleed with delight and glory e'en in conscious death ; 
Conscious that Britons should record their name 
And future ages enndate their fame. 
' PETERDonouGii, Xov. 2i>lh, 1!)0G.' 

The writer evidently imagined that the Alexander Duff, midshipman 
and master's mate,^ who was among tiie killed was the captain's son. 
This Alexander, with liis brother Thomas, afterwards Colonel Gordon of 
Park, were the sons of Lachlan Duff, W.S., youngest son of John Duff of 
Culbin and his second wife, Helen Gordon of Park. Thomas had joined 
the ship with Norwich just before the battle, and Alexander died in 
liis arms. 

A monument to Captain George Duff was put up in the crypt of St. 
Paul's Cathedral, adjoining the tomb of Nelson, and bears the folIoM'ing 
inscription : ' Erected at the public expense to the memory of Capt. 
George Duff, who was killed 21st Oct. 1805, commanding the Mars in the 
battle of Trafalgar, in the 42nd year of his age, and the 29th of his services.' 
There is a medallion portrait of him by J. Bacon, junior.- 

' George Duff had written to Alexander's father in May of the same year : ' H.M.S. Mars, 
5 May 1805. — I am happy to assure you that your son Alexander is in good health and as fine 
a young man as I have ever met with. I only regret he has not served his time, as soon as he 
has, we must get him made Lieut. At present I make him do tlie duty of acting Lieut., but 
that puts nothing into his pocket, only gives him more consequence and makes him see more 
of his duty. I would with pleasure receive your son Thomas and take all the care I can of him, 
but I fear they will send me abroad before either he or my son can join me, as you must have 
heard we are fitted for foreign service, and if the French send any ships abroad I suppose we 
shall be one of the party to follow them.' • 

• At a meeting of the Patriotic Fund in January 1806 it was resolved ' that a piece of plate 
value £100 and adorned with a suitable inscription be presented to Mrs. Duff and to descend 
to his son, now in His Majesty's navy, and annuities of /50 each to his two daughters, Georgina 
Helen and Anna Margaret.' They lived to the ages of twenty-eight and twenty-three respec- 
tively. Two elder daughters, Mary Anne Fothcringham ami Jemima, had died in infancy. 

* Letter at Drunirauir. 



Norwich Duff, liis only son, I)orn on An<Tiist 5, 17!)2, was Ums a/^cd 
liiirlccii yours two and a lialT nionlhs aL tlie dale of 'i'lalalj^ar, Ijcinji, as 
iar as is known, the youngest ollicer, and j)robably the youngest person, 

Ilis godfather was the fourth Duke of Gordon, who bestowed upon him 
the name of Norwieli, after his own sccondaiy title of Earl of Norwich, 
derived from his great-grandmother. Lady Elizabeth Howard, daughter of 
Henry, first Earl of Norwich, and afterwards Duke of Norfolk.* This name, 
which seems to be quite luiiqiie as a Christian name, is preserved by two 
grandsons of the late admiral, and should go down to posterity in connection 
with the ' honourable augmentation ' of the Duff arms, granted to the first 
Norwich Duff in commemoration of his father's services. See chapter xxx^^ii. 

Norwich had always shown a strong predilection for the sea, and in 
July 1S05, being then not quite thirteen, lie had been sent on board H.M.S. 
Aurora lying off Spithead, under orders for the Mediterranean, for a passage 
to join his father's ship II.IM.S. Mars off Cadiz, which he did on September 
19, and appears in the shi})'s books as an A.B. After the battle of 
Trafalgar and the death of his father, he was removed by the directions of 
Lord Collingwood into the Euryahis, and later was transferred to the Ajax, 
eighty gruis, commanded by Captain Blackwood, a friend of his father. 

i\Ir. Dalrymjilc, apjiarcntly purser and instructor on board the Eunjalus, 
writes from time to time to Jlrs. George Duff about her son. The year 
after Trafalgar he writes from S])ithead, February 21, ISOG : ' Mr. Norwich, 
I am convinced, has good disjiositions and abilities, superior to many of 
his age, and with delight I look forward to the time when, by his manly 
conduct and heroiek services to liis country, he will in a measure restore 
the happiness of his affectionate mother, and be a comfort to his friends, and 
by his endearing manners make himself a welcome and useful member of 
society. Mr. David Clerk {a young relative who zvill appear agniti], I am 
much pleased in saying, shews an example of economy and religion worthy 
to be copied by many of more advanced years.' 

' George, fourtli Marquis of Huntly and first Duke of Gordon, married Lady Elizabeth 
Howard, eldest surviving daughter of Henry, first Earl of Norwich and Baron Howard of Castle 
Rising ; who afterwards succeeded his brother as Duke of Norfolk. 

His son Alexander was second Duke of Gordon, and was succeeded by 

His son Cosmo George, third Duke, called after Grand Duke of Tuscany. 

His son Alexander was fourth Duke, who, in virtue of his descent, was created second Earl 
of Norivich, July 2, 1784, with limitation of the title to the heirs-raale of his body. He was 
born 1743, died 1827. 

His eldest son, George, fifth and last Duke, born in 1770, died 1856. The last Duchess 
died 1864. The earldom of Norwich became extinct in 1856 on the death of the fifth Duke. 


Tlirco weeks later : ' Norvvieli ;m<l all the yoiiiif,' {gentlemen arc making 
j)rofieiency. Wc have got an excellent globe vvhleli \vc shall study occa- 
sionally ; every morning ... a certain number of words, learn English 
grammar once a week, and in the evening read geography, history, etc., 
after having poured over their navigation, French, arithmetic, etc., the 
greater part of the day.' ^ 

The Ajax took part in the expedition to Constantinople, and on Feb- 
ruary 14 was completely destroyed by fire, off Tenedos, nearly three himdred 
persons being lost. Norwich Avas among the saved, as well as his preceptor 
Dalrymple, wlio writes a thrilling account of the incident to the anxious 
mother : 

' Feb. 1807. — Lest my letter of the 17th should have miscarried, I do myself 
the honor of preparing another against the earliest opportunity. Before this 
reach you, the Gazette will have publicly announced the loss of the Ajax off the 
mouth of the Dardanelles on the evening of the 14th instant about 9 o'clock. 
She took fire in the slavboard side of the Breadroom, and it is generally thought 
it was oeeasioncd by the carelessness of the Purser's steward who was much 
addicted to drinking and was seen drunk a few minutes before the fire was 
discovered. Everything being dry, the flames raged with incredible fury and 
tho' repeated attempts were made to get them under every exertion availed us 
nothing : yet till I saw the flames rolling on the quarter deck and everything 
round me in a blaze I had not the most distant idea that the ship would be burnt, 
but then I was forced to rush forward to the forecastle and consult my safety. 
You will easily conceive how much I was rejoiced to find Norwich there (he was 
one of the midshipmen of the watch), but mj' joy was soon interrupted when he 
told mc he had not seen Mr. David Clerk or Mr. Manners from the time the fire 
broke out. We stood on the sprit-sail yard for some minutes thinking wc might 
discover them, lurking in some place which the flames had not reached, but no, 
the poor little fellows had leapt overboard, as we afterwards understood, soon 
after the accident happened. 

' At this time there was no boat near us nor any prospect of our preservation, 
as neither of us can swim ; however I bless God Almighty that I continued as 
cool and eollccted as I am at this moment, and exhorted the dear partner of my 
misfortune to keep up his spirits, depend upon the mercy of God and we might 
be saved. For since I had found him, I was resolved to save him or perish in 
the attempt. We shook hands and bid adieu to Captain Blackwood who at 
that moment plunged into the waves with a Jlr. Sibthorp, a worthy young man 
who perished with cold, struggling against the curi'cnt. Wc had not waited 
above ten minutes when a boat from the Windsor Castle came under the bows, 
into which I made Norwich immediately go down. Even then we were far from 
being safe, the flames had taken such full possession of the ship that the guns 

' Thus we see that the junior officers of Trafalgar were only little schoolboys after all, and 
had their drudgery to get through hke their fellows. 


wliich wcro loaded l)C'iniT made liot, were disc'liiiri;iiifj; tlic slioL in cvci-y ([iiurtcr 
;md sevcml (lew over our heads when in the hoat rowiuf^r towards the Canojnis, 
whieh ship we got safe on board, when we iiiid the f^ood fortune to Ihid I lie 
Captain and several other shipmates among whom I am ha[)py to include ]Mr. 
Thomas Duff, who was saved in the half of the Captain's boat, which in lowering 
was cut in two upon the anchor. From what I ha^'e said, I daresay you already 
perceive that my unfortunate young friends l\Ir. Clerk and Mr. Manners are 
included among the lost. I hope you will receive my first letter and answer it, 
as I am particularly perplexed what to do with Norwich after this service is 
linished. 13y going home he will lose much practical knowledge of his profession 
wliieh he perhaps may never again have as good an opportunity of acquiring, 
and by staying here without a thread of clothes but what the generosity of a 
shipmate may bestow, is very inconvenient, and may in the end hurt his health.' 

Two days after the burning of tlic Ajax Norwich joined the 
Active (Captain Mowbray), so that a friendly letter from Captain Black- 
wood to his mother must have been prior to the catastrophe.^ He says : 
' Norwich has latterly improved much in his attentions to Mr. Dalrymple 
and the care of his person and clothes.' ^ ' Thomas Duff, being older, is as 
steady, active, and attentive as any young man I ever saw.' ^ 

The Active took part in the passing and repassing of the Dardanelles 
and various other actions off the Turkish coast, in which neighbourhood 
she remained for two years. In 1808 she paid off at Shcerness, but was in 
August of the same year reconiniissioned by Sir James Gordon, and Nor- 
wich again sailed in her, to the Adriatic, and had the good fortune to take 
part in many boat expeditions, in the cajiturc of twenty-five vessels off 
Gras, 1810, and in the action off Lissa, I\Iarch 13, 1811. He there had 
another narrow escape from fire when on board the Corona, a prize. In 
September. 1811 he passed as Lieutenant at Malta, but continued on board 
the Active, and after the next action was sent to take charge of the Pomona 
(prize), and liad another narrow escape from drowning owing to his boat 
being upset. In 1S12 he was appointed to the Seahorse, and went to the 
West Indies. In 1813 he was appointed Flag-Licutcnunt to the Hon. 
Sir A. J. Cochrane, G.C.B., then going out as Commander-in-Chief to the 
American station. On June 13, 1814, he was promoted Commander, and 
appointed to the sloop Espoir, and took part in the expedition up the 
Chesapeake and the destruction of Washington and the disastrous attack 
on New Orleans. After the conclusion of peace by the Convention of 

' In which poor Blackwood himself lost all his prize money. 
^ Which again gives a glimpse of a very normal schoolboy. 

' All these letters are in the possession of Edward Alexander Duff, eldest surviving son of 



Hi, Sir lt-,iii/ l/,u'l,„r„. 



Client, the Espoir remained to protect tlie fisheries of Labrador, but 
returned to England and was paid off in Octoljcr 181C. 

He subsequently served as Connnander in the Beaver and in the 
Rifleman, and in July 1822 was promoted Post-Captain, after which he 
saw no more active service, and retired in the same year. He became 
A.D.C. to the Queen in 1819 ; in 1S52 he was placed on the reserve list of ■ 
Rear-Admirals, and became Vicc-Admiral in 1857. He had, at one time, 
some thoughts of buying the jn-operly of Blcrvie, but did not do so.^ 

In 1833 he married Helen IMary, only child of Dr. Shoolbred, and grand- 
daughter of James Shoolbred, merchant, Auchtcrmuehty, Fife (to whom 
Helen was served heir at his death in ISIS). He had four sons and four 
daughters : 

1. Helen Sophia, born 1833 ; married, 1857, Boseawen Trevor Griffith, 
late 23rd Welsh Fusiliers. In 1S75, on the death of his mother, he assumed 
the additional surname of BoscaM'cn. They have issue : 

Boseawen Trevor, born ISGO ; married Lilian Bellers, and has 

Arthur Sackville Trevor, born 18G5 ; M.P. for Tunbridge Wells 

1892-190G, and Dudley 1910 ; knighted in 1911 ; married Edith 

.Sarali ^Villiams. 
Helen Evelyn, born 18G7; married Hugh James Archdale, late 

Colonel Lincolnshire Regiment ; one daughter. 
Alice Catlrerine, born 1870; married George Taaffe of Smarmore, 

Co. Louth, and has issue. 

2. Georgina Lucy, born 1835; married, 18G4, William James Tayler 
(see page 195) ; died 1S9G. They had issue : 

Constance Jane Dorothy, born 18G8 ; married Hubert Coulson, 

and has issue. 
Helen Agnes Henrietta, born 1869. 
Alexander (AUstair) Norwich, born 1870. 

3. Duncan Alexander, born 1837, died 1841 ; buried in P^re Lachaise 
Cemetery, Paris. 

4. Henrietta Anne, born January 1842, died 1879. A poetess and 

5. Louisa Jessie Eliza, born December 1842. 

6. George Norwich, born ]845; died 1848, buried in Bath. 

7. Edward Alexander James, born 1847 ; for many years General 

• Arcliibald Duff to Colonel Thomas Gordon of Park, 1852: ' You perhaps would hear that 
Blervie is in the market, and there is a talk that Norwich Dufi is to be the purchaser at the 
price of ;£40,ooo.' 

::.3»i b 

Dial ,r> 
,tn oiirt 


Manager ol' Lloyd's Bank, now a Director ; married Amy Katlierinc 
Barnct, and lias issue, two sons and five daughters : 
Helen Dohotuy, born 1870, died 1882. 
Aline Mary, born 1877. 
CiciLY Katherine, born 1878, died 1882. 

Emily Beatrice, born 1883 ; married, 1904, Arthur Tyndale- 
Biscoe, and has three children — Alec Julian, born ] 90G ; Edward 
Rupert, born 1909 ; and Rosamond Mary, born 1912. 
Alexander Gordon and Walter Norwich, twins, born 1884. 
Walter Norwich married, in 1910, Margaret, daughter of 
Thomas Perceval Wilson. He is an engineer in the firm of 
Thornycrofts, Southampton. Alexander Gordon is a solicitor. 
Audrey Louisa, born 1887. 
8. The fourth son and eighth child of Admiral Norwich Duff was 
Adam Gordon, born 1849 ; educated at Harrow and Cambridge, and called 
to the Bar. 

There is a window in Bath Abbey dedicated to the memory of Admiral 
Norwich Duff, who died in Bath, April 5, 18G2. His widow died in London 
in 1895, aged eighty-four. 

ij'irT ' ' 

'i^) mj. 


•miiodiijvl Y/aA f>') 



Alcxandor ' sccoiul of Hatton ' left one natural son, Alexander Duff, Colonel 5Sth Regiment, died ISIG, 
»'lio married, first, Koliecca J'owcU of Liverpool, .Secondly, I'i^J, Jane Abernetliy of Slayen, 
died 1773. ■ 1751-1800. 
I I 
Alexander Samuel, born 1773, Ensign William A. of Mayen, 17S0-1857, 
3rd Foot Guards 17'Jt), m. December 31, 1808, unmai riod. 
i\Iarv Kinlav. 
" I 

i " I I I 

William lli-ginson, I'olliott, 1S18-187'-', Koljina Mary, Baroness Gary. 

1811-18."),"), m. Kliza Anne I'arker. m. fir.-it. Secondly, 

in. Amelia L'harlotle I Baron Abloniar. Cliarle.s Wilkinson. 

iMar.shain. No issue. | I 

1. Mary Ada, died young. Two children. 

2. Nina, m. I'icrre Mouchot. 

3. Kva Maud, m. Ottley. 

Ai-EXANDER, natural son of the second Alexander Duff of Hatton, was 
born in 1743 or 17-l-t, and obtained a commission as Lieutenant on 
October 12, 17G0, in the newly raised S9th Regiment. Four years later 
the regiment disapjjears from the Army List, and he witii it, but on iMarch 21, 
1705, lie became a Lieutenant in the 58th Regiment, Ca])tain in 1772, Major 
in 1783, and retired on half-pay in 178G. He married, while still a Captain, 
Rebecca Powell, daughter of Samuel Powell of Stanagc Park, Radnor 
(her nephew was of Brandlesoine Hall, Yorkshire), and sister-in-law of 
Ralph Higginson of Liverjiool. He appears in the family eorrcsj)ondencc 
of the Powell i'amily as ' Sandy Dul'f.' Rebecca died in 1773, leaving him 
one son, Alexander Samuel, to whom went the fortune inherited from 
lier father and uncle. 

Alexander thus announces her death to Lord Fife : 

' My Lord, — Since I had tlie honour of your Lordships favour I liavc sus- 
tained an incxj^ressible loss of a most ^■aluabl(• wife, who to all appearance was 
safely delivered betwixt eight and nine o'clock at night of the 12tli instant, and 
for several hours seemed in as good a way as possibly could be expected, but 
about 2 o'clock in the morning she suddenly expired, without any friend in the 
room perceiving the least alteration. She has left me a very fine boy, who is, 
in all probability likely to do well. This is now become so melancholy a place 
tliat I intend setting out for the north in ten or twelve days, and as I shall have 
frequent occasion to write to my friends here, has made me take the liberty to 

Ji/odf. T."i oJ i: 

'I'v ")•! ■ 11 • tV l 


'Banfi-, 10//( May 1786. 
' Dear Sir, — I was unlucky the other day in missiiif,' you at Mountcoffcr, 
as I had several interesting matters to eonnnunieate to you, wliieh I must now 
defer till meeting, whieh I liojic will be soon, tlio' I am going for a few days to 
Glassa and llatton Lodge, willi intention to be at JIayen by tlie Term to reeeivc 
servants and set them. I have mueh to do in getting the old House ^ made 
comfortable and taking furniture from henee, wliieh puts me under the necessity 
of trespassing on the kindness of my friends at this time to request the assistance 
of their Carts. A few arc prepared for tiiat Business next Saturday, when, if 
your Carts can be sjjared at the same time, will be doing me a most singular 
favour, as I am anxious to have the greatest ])art transported altogether. It 
you arc at the Roup of Mountblairy I shall have the pleasure to see you, in the 
meantime Mrs. Duff joins me in best eompliments to you and Jlrs. Hose, and I 
remain most sincerely yours, Alexandi.h Duff.' 

From jMaycn, on November 3, 17SS, Colonel Duff writes to Williani Rose 
that he luis ' dcterniinecl on building,' which refers to the present mansion- 
house ol" Muycn. 

And again to \Villiam Rose : 

'Mayen, 18^/i Nov. 17«8. 

' Dkau Sik, — In eonsequenee of your favour of the ICLh I have signed the 
Discharge for Lord Fife, but have at the same time to observe as 5 pr. Cent M'as 
allowed to last Whitsunday, that I expected it would have been continued to 
Martimnas 1787, and have sent you the accts. and letters relative to the different 
settlements, whieh makes a difference of £;30, but it not allowed by his Lordship 
1 shall give you no farther trouble on the subject, tho' perhaps I may mention 
it to him when I have an opportunity, as well as other matters formerly proposed. 
I am truly sorry for the Death of the King." With Mrs. Duffs kind Compts. I 
am always sincerely yours, Ai-exandeu Duff.' 

Alexander Duff's second wife was very delicate; in fact, all the Abcr- 
nctliys seem to have been consumptive. On several occasions he took her 
and her sister to the Wells of Pannanieb, near Ballater, and also to England. 

In July 1787 Colonel Duff writes to Lord Fife from Pannanich that his 
wife is rather better lor tlic pure air of this place, and he hopes she will soon 
recover her ap])etitc and usual spirits, and again from ' Ilotwells, ]5ristol,' 
to William Rose : ' Mrs. Duff and Miss Abcrncthie arc still poorly, but I 
have great expectations from ass milk, excellent water, pure air, and the 
approaeiiing season, and shall be happy how soon I can bring them back, 
in jjcrfect health, to the Land of Cakes.' 

' Now the farm of Mains o( Mayen. 

' Charles lidward Stuart died tliis year in Rome. But as the event took place on the 
31st January, it this is referred to it seems that news then travelled very slowly. 

270 DUFFS OF :mayi<:n 

Ajjjjfircntly Colonel Duff, his wife, ;ui(! Iiis sistcr-in-];i\v, Miss Abcr- 
nctliy, were at Batii in 1787, us lie wi'ites lo J.oid File IVoui there, as follows : 
- ' My Ladies, I am soriy to say, retain so mueh of Scoteli bashl'iilness that I 
find it a most difliciilt matter to get them to mingle Avith the crowd, but 
liope in a short time they will be more familiarized to the gay manner of 
this place. . . . Wc intend to see a little more of London, where wc were 
only a few days, after which 'tis intended to visit my friends at Liverpool 
and to see my son,i as Mrs. Duff is most anxious to be acquainted with 

On October 2G, 1787, Colonel Duff writes from ' Hulton Hall, Brent- 
wood, Essex,' to Lord Fife : 

' I luul the i^Icasurc to acquaint your Lordship of the ladies being safe arrived 
at this place, after some alarms and frights and fatigues, but I am now hapjiy to 
tliink they arc j^rctty m'cII recovered from tliosc incidents tliat attend a sea 
voyage, tho' I believe it would be a diHicult mailer to persuade them to trust the 
watery elements again, but from what wc hiivc already experienced they shall 
never be desired by mc. Mrs. Duff is certainly benefited by the jaunt, and I 
only hope the gay scenes will not give a disrelish for Mayen, which I left with 
much reluctance.' 

Lord Fife replies as follows : 

'UvvF HocsK, K'ov. 2atli, 1787. 

' Dear Sir, — I received yom- Letter, and am very glad your Ladies are well, 
and you will forgive me for not joining in your wishes, for I sliall be very glad 
when they are most lieartily tir'd of Bath whicli I think they must be, and very 
anxious to get home, resolving never to do the like again for fear of being 
punished. Mr. Stronaeh is here just now clearing his accounts, lie has never 
showed me your memorandum, and I told him this morning he need not now, 
for I had heard from yourself, so he shall hixvc no merit. To the first point I 
answer that you are most heartily welcom to bury where you please," and I 
heartily wish it may be many years before you take up that habitation, but that 
I shall most certainly never lay one stone above another to confine you when 
there. As to the road, I told you I had very mueh inclinatidu to oblige you, l)ut 
that I had really seen so nuieh altercation and dispute bclwixt the Late Lord 
Fife and Mr. Abererombie ^ (sic) about these roads, that I was very unwilling 
to do anything that could occasion any altercation in matters that had been 
settled with so mucli trouble. I shall enquire about the Minister's Demands 
and the vacant stipend and inform you how it stands. Lady Ann Duff is at 
Ilatton Lodge very well, and I suppose goes soon for Edinbr. I shall leave this 
about the ICth of December. Kind Compts: to the Ladies with much regard. 
Yours, etc., Fife. 

' Alexander Samuel. ' See page 27S. 

' Probably a mistake for Abernethy. 


' Since writing my letter I laid tlicre is sonic jigrceiiient abouL tlic vucaiiL 
sliiKiid at ]{()lliiemay for a Ijrid^^c on lint l)ui'n of Millcgan wliicli Hit- |)o()r ))copl(: 
:ae ofUn iiuble to he drowned in, and tiiis is as yiiat a convenience Lo your 
tenants as mine, tliat a JJridge be there.' (/?.) 

Having purchased tlie riglits of his sisters-in-laAV in Maycn, Alexander 
Duff settled down there, and subsequently became an Honorary Colonel 
of the Banffshire Volunteers. By his second wife he had one son, William 
Abercromby Duff, born in 1789. There is a portrait of Alexander in 
uniform at Hatton, as well as pictures of his wife, and his son William, as 
a child. These Averc left in Colonel Duff's will to Garden Duff of Hatton. 

William was educated at Banff Academy and IMarischal College, Aber- 
deen, and went into the business of Messrs. Jlorisou of Riga, Archangel, 
and London. By his father's Avill he inherited IMayen, Tillydown, and 
Cornyhaugh, which estates he sold before his death. He bequeathed to 
the town of Banff a sum of £700, either for the benefit of the hospital there 
or to found a Duff Bursary at the Academy. He died unmarried in 1857, 
and was buried in the old churchyard of Banff, near liis mother and grand- 
mother (the former Jane Aberncthy who became Duff, and the latter Jane 
Duff, who became Aberncthy). The earlier Abernethys of Mayen hail 
been buried in the old churchyard of Rothiemay, near the river and below 
the house of Rothiemay. Tlie following letter from James Aberncthy 
of IMayen to ' Earl of Fife,' docketed by Lord Fife ' Mayen anent a wall 
he designed to build round his Burrial place,' is interesting to those who 
know the neighbourhood : 

' Mv Lord, — As I heard your people were working on the old Chm'ch Ycard 
I went up and measured of my burial place conform to the agreement entered 
into betwixt your Lop. and nie, and as I design very soon to have a wall puL 
round it, Have given you y^ trouble of this to know if you ha\e any objection 
to my taking the stones of the old Kirk for building liic wall. If this is not 
agreeable, I must bring stones from my own hills, in doing \vliieh I am affraid 
the wheels of the carriages may break some of your new made ground below your 
house which I should be very sorrie for. However, what is most agreeable to 
you shall be done. I shall expect an answer \vitli your convenience. Having 
the honour to be, with the greatest regard, My Lord, Your Lop. most obedient 
and most humble ser\ant, James Abernetuie. (D.) 

'Mayhn, Jnnry. ^lut, 1701." 

On a single flat tombstone in this graveyard is still faintly visible : 

' Among his ancestors underneath this stone is interred .John Aberncthy of 
Mayen, a young man of an amiable character. He died '2iul May 1779, in the 



21st year of his age ; also Helen Abcrncthy liis sister, who died April 1787, aged 
34, also their nephew Charles Graham, wlio died Dec. 1800, aged 28.' 

Good miniatures of John and Helen are in the jiosscssion of the present 

William Duff of Mayen would appear to have been the favourite son 
of his father, and was left sole executor and residuary legatee of the will. 
Colonel Alexander Duff, wlio died in 1816, expressed in his will the follow- 
ing desires as to his place of burial : ' Should I die at l\Iayen or Banff, and 
should there be sufficient space, I should wish to have my remains laid as 
near as possible to those of my beloved wife, Jane Abcrnethie (in Banff 
eluu'chyard) ; if not space there, I should wish to be interred in the Mayen 
burying ground below the house of Rothiemay, unless Lord Fife or any of 
the family build a proper place in the churchyard of Rothiemay, close to 
that of j\Ir. Stronaeh, late factor to the said Lord lufe.' The last alter- 
native was the one that eventuated, and the remains of ' Alexander Duff, 
Armiger, died ISIG,' lie alone, under a fine stone in the churchyard of 

To return to Colonel Alexander Duff's elder son, Alexander Samuel. 
His birth took place on April 12, 1773. Of his education nothing is known 
save that he was at one time ' bound apprentice to Mr. Robert Richmond, 
attorncy-at-law,' but in 1798 he joined the j\lilitia, in 1799 obtained a 
commission in the 3rd Foot Guards, and on May 15, 1800, was promoted 
Lieutenant and Caj)tain. In 1808 lie married, in Dublin, Mary Finlay, 
daughter and co-heiress of W. Finlay of Gunetts.' Of this marriage there 
were two sons — Williaai Higginson (so named after his great-uncle), born 
1811,2 and Folliot, born 1818 ; and two tlaugiiters — Robina Mary, who 
married, first, the Comtc d'Ablomar, by whom she had a son and a daughter; 
and, secondly, Charles Wilkinson ; and a younger daugiitcr, who was dead 
when Alexander Samuel made his will, and is only mentioned as Baroness 

Alexander Samuel died at Versailles in 1852 ; he left considerable 
landed property in Denbigh and Shropshire. In his will he mentions the 
estates of Bangor, IMarchwiel, Whitworth, Dodington, Edgeley, Tilston, 
and Whixall, but these were sold. His executors were Richard Jcbb and 
John Lee. He mentions liis wife, Mary ; his two sons William Higginson 
and Folliot, and the wife of the former ; his two daughters, Robina Mary, 

' ■ Deer. 31st, iSoS, at Dublin, Capt. Duff, 3rcl Foot Guards, to Mary, youngest dai'gliter 
and co-lieiress of the late W. Finlay of Gunnetts.' {Dublin Registers.) 

- ' March Sth, iSi r. In George St. the Lady of Alexander Samuel Duff of a son.' {Scots 



formerly Comtesse d'Ablomar, and now wife of Charles Wilkinson; and 
JJaroncss Cary, 'now deceased'; also his grundsoa and j^aauddaiighler 

The two sons, William lligginson, known as ' Billy,' and FoIIiot, 
enjoyed a good deal of notoriety in London in the early and mid- Victorian 
days. They were both, at one time, in the Army. J3illy became a 2nd 
Lieutenant in the 21st Royal North British Fusiliers, July G, 1830, promoted 
Lieutenant 1832, exchanged into the lOtli Dragoons 1837, and retired 1839. 

Folliot was an Ensign in 31th Cumberland Foot 1831', Lieutenant 1837, 
Captain 1843; retired 18 14. 

It was Billy who gave to the Army and Navy Club its nickname of the 
' Rag.' Coming in to supper late one night, he found the fare so meagre 
that he declared it was only a ' rag and famish affair.' This tickled thc' 
fancy of the members, and a button bearing the nickname and a figure of 
a starving man gnawing a bone was designed and Avorn for a time by many 
members when in evening dress. Ralph Neville, who relates the above, 
in his llislory of London Clubs, adds that ' Billy was a celebrated man 
about town at a time when knocker-wrenching and similar pranks were in 
favour. His cxi)loits in this line were notorious.' Some of his escapades 
were, however, not so harmless. The Times of August 8, lS-10, contained 
the following : ' The Earl of Waldegravc and Captain Dufl', who were 
conunitted to take their trial at the IMiddlcscx sessions for a violent assault 
ui)on a jiolicenian at IIamj)ton, have moved thc proceedings into thc Court 
of Queen's Bench. The defendants will in all probability be put upon 
their trial in the forthcoming JMichaelmas Term.' Thc result of the trial 
Avas a fine of £200 for Waldegravc, and £100 for Duff, and a sentence of six 
months' imprisonment in thc Queen's Bench Prison, from which thc two 
gentlemen emerged on November 3, 18 ll. The inhabitants of Strawberry 
Hill, where Lord Waldegravc lived, held a fete with illuminations in honour 
of the occasion. Folliot Duff wrote to the papers during his bi'other's 
imi)risonment, endeavouring to fasten the guilt of the assault on others of 
the dining party who had assaulted and injured the policeman, but as Billy 
Duff had already pleaded guilty the matter was, of course, concluded. 
The United Services Gazette of April 15, 1811 thus dismisses him : ' Captain 
William Higginson Duff, to whose exploit in half murdering a single and 
unarmed policeman, with the aid of three fashionable companions as 
dastardly as himself, we alluded in our last, is no longer in the Armj'. He 
appears to be one of those feather-bed soldiers who enter the Army solely 
for the purpose of wearing a red coat and being dubbed " Captain." He 
probably had good reasons for retiring altogether from the Army by thc 
sale of his Lieutenant's Commission in 1839.' 

.^iilt>i >li ii(>ieeUitUUx«J a hiiUiuii '^ul i^ll lo ^Icit 


For many years Billy Duff continued to amuse London witli his pranks. 
He had a museum oi" curious objects collected by himself on some of his 
excursions at home and abroad, including door handles and knockers, 
buttons and studs, walking sticks, signboards, and a French soldier's helmet. 
On one occasion he is said to have kidnapped the baby of a dog-stcaler and 
held it as a hostage for the return of his dog. 

He married, in 1842, Amelia Charlotte, daughter of Captain Jlathew 
R. Onslow, and widow of S. R. Marsham, who long survived him, living at 
15 Grosvenor Place. His death occurred at Versailles in 1855, and hers in 
London in 1870. They had no children. 

Folliot Duff, born 1818, was more of a harmless eccentric. He married, 
in 1849, Eliza Ann Parker, and they had a house in Belgravc Road. It is 
still remembered how Folliot used to write his name in blue chalk on the 
])avement outside his house and on neighbouring walls. They had three 
daughters : Maky Ada, died young, buried with her parents at Kensal 
Green ; Nixa, who married Pierre Clement IMouehot, and had issue ; and 
FvA MAtin, afterwards Mrs. Otllcy. Folliot died in 1S7'2, and his wife 
in 1SS;5. 




John Duff, second son to Patrick of Craigston, was, according to Baird, 
' bred at Elgin with his uncle Dipple, and became factor to tlic late Lord 
Fife for his estates in Moray, and also a merchant ; John came soon into 
the magistracy and was also sometime Provost of that burgh (174G- 
1749). He was a man of very shrewd, solid judgment, not ignorant of 
the Latin, and well acquainted with modern history and trade, and the 
present state of the world ; of very entertaining, facetious conversation, 
and I have heard good judges say that he was the best companion of the 
four brothers (i.e. sons of Craigston's first marriage, who lived to grow up).' 

Among the Drummuir papers and those of Mr. E. G. Duff there are 
several somewhat illegible letters from this John Duff on the business of 
William Duff of Braco, afterwards Lord Fife. 

One, dated Elgin, May 20, 1734, addressed to Mr. Andrew Hay, W.S., 
of Moimtblairy, at Banff, informs him that the suspension is closed against 
Lady Linkwood and Mr. Rainy, and encloses Braco's charge to Kilrach 
and accounts for disbursements and entertainment at Boat of Bog in 
October last, 'delivered to my brother William, amounting to £421. G. 


Scots.' lie asks Hay to ' look out wliat papci's Braco liatli ancnt tlie 
Thancdom of Alvcs and the tliirlagc ' of Llic lands belonging lo liis Mills and 
Old Mills, and what payments of thirl-nmllcr are to be made. This wants 
to be looked to with attention. The liaird of Grant may have these, be- 
cause he was Dipple's author in these mills. I hope this will find all glade 
with you on Glassaugh's - election as parliament man for your county. 
I shall have the pleasure to write you, and now and then drink your hcaltli, 
till I have an opportunity to serve you.' 

Another says : ' This will be delivered by my brother William, to whom 
give answer and receipts. The Lady Roscommon tells me she rcconuiiended 
Thomas Sinclair, Laird of Brodie's man, to serve Braco as a miller. I 
have knowTi him from his childhood, and am of opinion that Braco could 
not get a more sober and honest servant. Write me if you think him 

Among the Duff House papers there is an order, dated 1720, by John 
Duff, merchant in Elgin, to ' deliver one Boll of oat meal to ffindlay Dul'f at 
the lattcr's house at Longbride.' ' The latter ' cannot be traced. ^ 

John docs not seem to have been especially successful in business, nor 
did he leave his children very well off, but he is said to have spent a good 
deal of money upon their education. He married Margaret Gordon of 
Farskane, by whom he had seven sons and four daughters. lie died in 
1751, ' A gentleman well beloved and universally lamented.' ■* ' His family 
burying place is in the Cathedral in Elgin.'' His sons were Patrick, 
Archibald, William, John, and James. His daughter Anne married 
James Leslie of Bennegoith, near Forres.' (Baird.) 

Patrick, or Petkr, the eldest son (according to Baird, but in reality the 
second), was ' bred to the Law at Edinburgh and eiiteretl ^\'^iter to the 
Signet. He would have been well employed, but he I'ell into a life of 
dissipation and pleasure, and at last into an itch of gaming, and kept 
company with some of the great folks at Edinburgh, and, after losing his 
own money, plaj'^ed away other people's entrusted to him, and was obliged 
to retire to North America. He married a gentleman's daughter in Fife, 
an agreeable, pretty woman, and had a daughter, but both are dead many 
years ago.' (Baird, writing in 1773.) The name of this lady was Grisell 

' Obligation to grind corn at some particular mill. 

■•i General James Abcrcromby, M.P. for BantTshiie. 

'■' Though mentioned also in Lady Roscommon's accounts. 

• Aberdeen Journal ol that date. 

' lie is known us Provost Dull, the older, to distinguish him from Jolin Duff (father of Major 
Kobert of Ladyhill), who married Janet Gordon of FarsUane, niece to tlie elder John's wile, 
and was Provost live times. Sec chapter xxviii. 

V.' 10 ^VLO^ y: 




Balfour, and the daiif;iitcr, Giii.skli- or Jkan, was served heir to her 
Tnotlier in 1752. 

The eldest son was ARcniitAi.i), SluTin'-Clcik of Moray, known as liie 
' Muckle Clerk' (to disLingnisli him from his suceessor I'atrick, known 
as 'Little Clerk Duff,' i brother of the junior Joiin Uul'f, Provost). 
Archibald married his own first cousin (his mother's niece), Jane Stewart 
of Lesmurdie. lie resided at Bilbohall, near Elgin, then the property of 
George Duff of Milton, Convener of the County, to whom he probably 
paid a nominal rent.- At his death, in 1798, his assets apjicar to have 
amounted to £14. He liad one son, William, who predeceased him. 

The Provost's three younger sons are thus dismissed by ]?aird : ' James 
is in the planting way in Jamaica ; John was a factor in Holland, but died 
lately; and William died some years before his father.' 

According to the Elgin Parish Registers, John Duff's children were : 

' Areliibald, 1718. [His baptism is not recorded.] 

'Peter, baptised Au^'. 19, 1719; witnesses, PelerDiiff of Craigston, Peter Duff, 
writer in Aberdeen.' 

' \\'iiliani, baptised Aug. 5, 1720; witnesses, William Duff of Dipple, and 
William Duff of Braco his son. 

' Helen, 1722 ; witnesses, Helen Duff, Lady Roscommon, Helen Taylor, Lady 

' Alexander, 1723 ; witness, Alexander Duff of Hatton. 

' .John, 172;'3 ; witness John Innes of Kdingeif Ii, brother-in-law to the provost. 

' Jlargaret, 172C; witness, Margaret Duff, Lady Farskanc, the child's aunt. 

' John, 1729.' 

'James, 1730.* 

' Helen, 1737 ; witness, Helen, Lady Roscommon. 

' Aime, the youngest. [Baptism not recorded.] ' 

There is one letter from Archibald Duff to Lord Braco : 

' My Lord, — By my Mothers orders I send this express to acquaint your 
Lordship of my fathers death this morning, as she knows it would have been 
very agreeable to the inclination of your dead friend, so it would to her, if your 

1 See chapter xxviii. 

' In the annals of Elgin there is a note of the summoning before the kirk-session of ' the 
people of liilbohall, who were in the plcw on the fast day, and said tlieir master forced them to 
do so.' 

' Tlie custom of having many friends and relations of the same Cliristian name as the 
child, present at the baptism, makes the old registers very useful rcailing. 

* In 1750 John and James DufT, sons of John DuU, late Provost, were made burgesses of 
Elgin. ' For regard to the said John Duff, senior, and for the good services done by him to 
the burgh.' 



Lops, occasions led you to this country that you lionouicd his Fiuicnills with 
your Company, Init as tlichcatof the wcalherand tlie siliia( ion of tlie (Corpse will 
admit of no delay, so she can hardly ask your hop. to come on purpose. 'J'he 
JJurial is therefore intended with all the privatness decency will admit of, on 
Saturday afternoon. I have the honour to be, my Lord, your Lops, most obcdnt. 
and most humble scrt., Aitcnu. Duff. 

'Elgin, 12th June 1751. 

' To Lord Braco at Rothicmay.' (Z).) 

And another to William Rose : 

'10 Muy 1701. 

' Dear Sik, — Lmncdiatcly on receipt of yours of the 7th this day semiight, 
I sent over express to Pluscarden for Mr. Mcpherson. lie was gone over to Glass 
the day before, on Friday I met him accidentally on his way home and he promise d 
to sett about making out the extracts you Desire without loss of time. . . . The 
Memorials and other Exhibits he has not yet Ingrosscd in his Record, lie is 
Directly to sett about Doing this, and how soon I can get them from him, you 
may be sure they will be Sent you. I wish you to look over the note of the 
Acet. formerly sent you, and make up and Send me a Sketch ol it from yourself 
Specifying what I 'm to Pay Mr. McWilliam U>r his Trouble and if I 'm to Pay 
Mr. Lachlan, or how much I 'm to give him for his Exs. He says the Dues he 
is commonly Paid, and what he Received from Mr. Tod for the Duke was 2/6 
the first and 1/6 for every other sheet, but he Declines making any Demand for 
Lord Fife expenses untill he have your Sanction for the Doing it. I Reg you not 
to fail in writing mc as to this, as he has called on me Severall times already for 
your answers. As you Desire, I shall forbear sending your £10 and the same 
shall be Deduced from your Whitt>' Pay* for the oilice. Rurdsycards Seasinc 
was taken on Saturday sennight. I told him he was to pay you, as I was only 
acting for you and that I should write to you to Transmitt your aect. I think 
it will be best — if you please look at the Regulations and in case you arc not to 
be over soon, make up the acet. and send it cither to Peter Duff or me, as I 
have found these things paid as willingly when recent or otherwise. You are 
Sutherlands Debitor in half the chaise hyrc. I have not seen Prov. Duff as yet, 
when 1 do, shall make Inquiry and tell you if he and I differ. I 'm sorrie the 
sprain in your kg has given you so much uneasiness. I wisli you would make 
your writing a little more intelligible, as its dillicult to read it.' Relieve mc 
alwisc. Dear Sir, Yours, Arcud. Duff.' {R.) 

Of John Duff of Filgin's son called William, Admiral Duff, writing to 
Patrick Duff of Premnay in 1741 says that ' my Brother at Elgin's son 

' Tlic present wrilciii, who have struggled with a good deal of Rose's MS., heartily endorse 
this opinion. 

y ' "^f^'onr; hn ^ 


was too old before lie eamc to sea to leain to be a seaman, and tlie oidy 
oDiee lie ean qualil'y liimscU" for in our service is a I'urser.' 

Apijarently William was not a very prudent or capable person. I'alriek 
writes back to Admiral llobert tliat it would be best if William would 
settle in Jamaica. 

Of James we have the following further account. Lord Fife had indeed 
no sinecure in finding etn])loymcnt for all his young relatives. 

Mrs. Duff, OldmUns, Elgin, to Lord Braco 

' My Lord, — Its with Reluctance Im induced to give you this trouble, but 
in my present circumstances having my youngest sou Jams upon my hand and 
witliout any ffriend intt to advise or able to assist or att Icsst with humanety 
sufisent to befrecnd me in pulling him in a way of making his living. The 
bussness he was bred to being that of a Wivcr and that brinsh of trcd being quit 
gone, and in learning it lost great pert of his patrimony, I could Ihink of no way 
for him but making my a]>plecation to Ihe Ilonble. IMr. Jams Duff soUieiting his 
Interest, to procure him an ensigns Commission and as in my Husbands life- 
lime all of us had a dependance on your Lorilshi]3c, I have now presumed to 
beg your Lop use your inlluence with your son to effectuate this matter. 

' As this is at present the only Scheme I can form to my self of the poor 
young lad's being provided for, I eanot help flattering myself with the thoughts 
of your Lordships interesting yourself in Behalf of the son, whose father your 
Lop. always and with justice accounted one of your best well-wishers. — I am, with 
great Respect, My Lord, Your Lordships Most oblidged humble Servtt., 

' Margrat Gordon. (O.) 
'OldmilnSj 29//1 June 1757.' 

This James Duff did not, however, enter the Army, but went, like 
many of the family, to Jamaica, and his will, proved at Kingstown in 
1782, shows him as leaving a considerable amount of money to his 
nephews and nieces. 

' To John, Margaret, Alexander, Archibald, Robert and Ann Leslie, 
children of his sister Anne. To William Duff, son of his brother Archi- 
bald, and in case of his death to Archibald himself. 

' Also to Patrick, James and Jlargaret Gordon.' 

(As far as is known, the family of Provost John Duff, in the male 
line, died out entirely.) 

The ' immediate younger brother ' of John Duff, Provost of Elgin, was 
William Duff of Whitehill, born 1690. ' He settled a merchant in Banff 
about 1716 ; he was a very sensible, social, friendly, honest man ; while 
provost of that town he studied the interest of the place witliout any regard 
to person or party ' (Baird). William of Whitehill seems to have been 

>'V hwiN "\ 

loon aril 


his father's executor, find had a jrood deal ol' trouI)lc with the amounts left 
to his younger liaH'-brothcrs who were abroad, and much correspondence 
witli his broLiiers John and Patrick. 

The follo-wing poem, published at the date of his death in the Scots 
Magaziin; December 1740, shows the respect in which he was held : 

' On tlie death of William Duff of Whitehill, late Provost of Banff. 
Ingens sui dcsiderium moriens reliquit.' 

' Wlio behold and shun to drop .1 tear, 
When ;ill tlie town in sable weeds appear, 
For him who made the public jrood his aim. 
And by the city's thriving rais'd his fame ? 
Tiio' ■^reat your grief and just your cause of woe. 
Your wound yet green, your loss you scarcely know. 
No city e'er a better burgher had 
To guard iier int'rest, or advance licr trade 
No frowns or flatt'ry of the rich or great. 
No hope of sordid gain or private hate, 
E'er biass'd him to yield or join with those 
Who durst the city's ])ublick good op))ose. 
Candid in commerce, once the word lie spoke 
No man can say that .word he ever broke. 
I strive not here in pompous praise to shine, 
Or paint fictitious merit in each line ; 
^'et justly I can say, because 'tis true. 
Through a long tract of time, the man I knew. 
Sincere in friendship, honesty his view, 
May angels waft Iiis soul witli endless joy 
To that bless'd place where pleasures never cloy.' 

' In Queen Anne's Wars, lie went upon a trading voyage to the Levant, 
aboard of a merchant ship, was taken prisoner by an Algerian pirate and 
carried to Smyrna, where he lay a winter, till his ransom was remitted, 
and then came home. He was very successful in merchandizing, husbandry, 
and country dealings, and managed all liis affairs with activity and prudence ; 
he was a nrost candid, ingenuous man, had much of what the French call 
na'ivete, and would sometimes, when lialf in his bottle, [)]ay upon his own 
industrious spirit, and say it was a bare inuir where he could not find a 
cow.' (Baird.) 

In 1718 he married Bathia Garden of Troup (who survived him till 17S1), 
and had ten ehikhen : ' 

1. BATni.v,1718; married, in 1738, John Gordon of Badenscoth; diedl753. 

2. Patrick, 1720. 

' Kegibter of the Kpiicojial CUurtli of Banfl. 



a. James, 1722-1720. 

4. Jean, 1724-1733. 

5. William, born and died 172G. 
C. John, 1728-1732. 

7. Anne, 1730-1732. 

8. William, 1731-1732. 

9. James, 1735 ;i died unmarried in the East Indies. 'As supercargo 
of the ship Greyliood, 1758,' vide Indian Registers. 

10. Margaret, 1738-1742. 

There is one letter IVoni William DuiT ol' Whitehill to his brother 
Patrick Duff of Premnay : 

'Uanh-, "J/A Octr. 1735. 

' Affect. Broyu, — Our Broyr Francis came here and I advised him to goe 
forward to Elginc and gett liis assignation signed by our Broyr John. I send 
you inclosed a letter I had from .Jului on that subject. By yit I think he has 
mistiiken what was designed, and Francis tells me he signed the assignation you 
sent out and kei)L it, by him. It would be Iiard Francis should be detained by 
this mistake, and 1 hope you will order it in sueli a way as he niay goe forward 
as was designed, and you may be sure, as I am fully satisfied, youll desyre i\othing 
of mc but whats right. I will readiely goe in to any melhode you iiro])osc and 
John can be satislied afterwards. My kind respects to I.ady ]5raceo and my 
sister and I still am. Your affect, broyr, etc., \V. Duff. 

' r.S. — Jlind to cause Archibald Duff assigne all the accounts relating to 
Craigstouns - funeralls before he goe away. 

' For Patrick Duff off premnay att Aberdeen.' (D.) 

The only one of William's children to carry on the family was Patrick, 
the eldest son, born 1720, and, like Iiis fatlicr. Provost of Banff. lie mai'ried, 
July 13, 1743, Clementina Hay of llannes, ilaughter of the famous giant, 
whose monster stockings were long exhibited at Duff House. ^ They also 
liad a large family, many of whom died young, but in 1773, Avhen Baird 
wrote, there were 'two sons and tM'o daughters living.' 'William bred 
with a Writer to the Signet in l^ldinburgh, now gone to North America ; 

» ' John Gordon ' was appointeil ' Tutor ' to James Duff, second son to William Duff of 
Whitcliill, on February 2, 17^1. James Duff must therefore have been under fourteen at the 
time, as between the .ages of fourteen and twenty-one a boy liad a curator. Tlie register of 
liis baptism shows him to have been born in 17.35, and therefore six at this time. His eldest 
brother Patrick was twenty-one, and all the intervening chiUlren were dead. John Gordon 
was no doubt Gordon of Badenscoth, the boy's brother-in-law. John, William and Anne, 
who all died in 1732, are buried in the churchyard in Banff. 

^ His half-brother James, died 1734. 

' Charles Hay's stockings are now in the Banff Museum, and a portrait of him at Hatton. 
His son Andrew was ' out ' in the '45. Charles Hay's wife was Helen Fraser. 



vfro 9lfT 



Pkter, wlio is in tlio East Indies ; IIei,en, married to Joliii i:)nrf oflTatton ; 
and MAUGAiiKT, lo Mr. William Stewart, a f^riiiridson of old Lesmiirdy's, 
and minister at Anehterless.' 

Provost Patrick Unff died in 1783, and liis wile in 17.T2. 

The births of two ol' their children arc to be fonnd in the registers of 
the Episcopal Church in ]5anlT : 

'Helen, baptised June 22, 1744; name-mothers ]\Irs. Helen Eraser, 
Lady llannes, the child's f^randmothcr, and Miss neicn Innes.' 

' Williahi, baptised July IG, 1745 ; named after Provost William Duff, 
deceased, the child's grandfather, and W^illiam Leslie of ftlclross, Esq.' 

The other three were baptised at New Deer (after the church in Banff 
had been burnt by Cumberland), and the records were only discovered 
accidentally : 

' May 24, 1748, Patrick Duff of Whitehill had a son baptised, named 

' March 29, 1750, Patrick Duff of Whitehill had a daughter brought 
forth by his Lady, Clementina Hay, baptised, named Makgauet.' 

' March 28, 1751. Patrick Duff of Whitehill had a son baptised, named 
Patrick Willlvm ' ('Pettcr'). 

Patrick Duff of Whitehill writes thus to Lord Fife soliciting help for 
his son William : 

'Cruvie, Sept. \st, 1775. 

' My Lord, — I had a letter from my son William enclosing letters for your 
Lordship and Troup. Your Lordship's I send Inclosed. It seems, by the aid 
of one of the Clerks of the Treasury, he has ffot information, of the vacancy of 
the Collectorsliip of Port Antonio on the Island of .Tamaiea. My Friend Troup 
wishes this post for him and Coll. Morris left a letter with Wm. at London to be 
delivered to Lord North with the letters of other friends and I have taken the 
liberty to send this by express to your Lordship, bcojng your Lordship will 
send me a letter for Lord North in my sons favours that I may send him to 
deliver with the others. When your Lordship was here and exprest your wish 
to serve Wm. has made me take this freedonie and will always have a jusl. sense 
(jf your favours and has the honour to Bee, My Lord, Your Lordship's most 
obdt. and very humble Sert., Patt. Duff. 

' P.S. — In case your Lordship inclines to write and send it off yourself to 
Wm. his address is New Loyds CotTie House, London.' (Z>.) 

Andrew Hay, PalricJcs brothcr-in-laiv, to Lord Fife 

'Rannes, Feb. 24, 1776. 
' My Lord, — Its William Duff, Provost Duff's eldest son, my nephew by a 
favorite sister. The young gentleman has the Hon'' to be of your family and looks 


Ai-TiAiotd %'i3hio*l .vtJiU aa-xiwitv 


lip to your Loj). us IuIIrt and |)n)tLctor of yoiiv ('•■ulcLs. As f:ir as I van jiiilj^'e, 
he 's une honest sciisibk; fellow w' out show iind |)ossess('S the sentiments of a 
gentleman. lie intends soon to return to the Island of Grenada where he was 
last three years. His business in this corner was in quest of a small crcditt w^ 
he '11 obtain, and to request the intercession of friends if possible to obtain for 
him from Government some place in cither of the ^V. India Islands either in 
the Customs or any oilier Branch of the Revenue. OE course the Climate 
occasions many vacancys, its useless to sugcst to your Lop. If in the customs, 
nothing less than being a Contracker would be agreeable to himself or friends, 
or if in the Revenue a place equal in emoluments to it. I Hatter myself his 
conduct may enable his friends \vt assurance to get something better in time. 
Your Lop. will eassily believe that every interest will be asked to serve our 
young friend in the laudable attempt of wishing to make a reasonable liveing, 
his ambition is to return to his country and friends w* a decent competency ; 
What pleasure would it give me if he ow'd his jjromotion and good fortime to 
your Lop. and I 'm certain it would equally gratilie Mr. Duff to be under obliga- 
tions of gratitude to you. Troup and severall others will be addressed on this 
subject. I shall now beg leave to assure your Lop. that serving Wm. Duff will 
be obliging many of your friends in a particular manner who 's warmly interested 
for Mr. Duff. ... I have the honour, etc., Andrew Hay.' (D.) 

And William Duff liimseli' from Barbadoes to the Earl of Fife : 

'BniDOETowN, Bardadoks, 27 June 1779. 

' j\Iy Lord, — I wrote your Lordship some time ago. And takes the oppor- 
tunity of an express that goes from this Island to inform your Lop. that the 
Island of St. Vincents surrendered to the French the 24th of June, the particulars 
of which we had this morning by an express from St. Lucia. 

' That St. Vincents was taken by several French Men of War thought to be 
Monsieur le Mothe de la Piquet's squadron from Europe, Two hundred of the 
Rcgt. of Martiniea and sixty Grenadiers aided by the Curibs, Arms and Amuni- 
tion having been brought them by the French ; Admiral Byron with the whole 
of the British Squadron have been off the Station for this sometime ; he having 
conveyed, it is thought, a considerable way to the Northward the homeward 
British West India fleet of Merchantmen. They sailed from St. Kitts the IGth 
June ; considering what a fme licet Byron has in those seas, it is astonishing 
he should not have left a sufficient number of ships to protect the Islands which 
he had in his power to have done, every vessell even to a sloop of war is with 
him except a Bomb Ketch that 's within the Carinage at St. Lueia. The French 
finding the coast clear and so fair an opportunity, landed at St. Vincents Jlonday 
21st June. The Island sin-rendered Thursday the 2-lth, Several expresses 
have been sent by the Commander at St. Lueia in quest of Admiral Byron, of 
whom they had heard nothing on the 25th June. AV'e have no account as yet 
of the Terms of Capitulation. St. Vincents lyes fifty miles-north west of Barba- 
does and thirty south of St. Lucia is twenty-four miles long and eighteen broad. 




Tlie Island ol' Carriacow ' is closs by, the one btiiij,' sciin mosl. disl iiiclly from the 
ullior. SU Viiicciils is a most valual)l(j Jslaiul. Jt made better Mian J 5,000 
li-lids suyar lliis year. I reiriain, with all due respect, My Lord, Your J^(jps. 
most devoted and most ob"' Ser', Willm. Duif. 

' P.S. — It is imagined Grenader has likewise fallen.' (D.) 

From William's father. Provost Patrick : 

'CiioviK, Olh Aug. ]7flO. 

' My Lord, — I had a letter from my Son William froiti Barbadocs dated 
Aprile, Informing me that Henry Smith, Colector of his I\Iajcsty's Customs, on 
the Island of Saint Vincent, is dead. The Island is presently in the hands of the 
French. But, at Barbadoes its thought it will be soon retaken by Britain, and 
he begs of me to apply your Lordship to solicite in his Favour, to have Lord 
North's Promise that if the Island fall to Britain, my Son shall have the appoint- 
ment of the Colectorship. A promise of this kind is the more ready to be obtained 
from the uncertainty, and if William is j^resently apointed, he can wait untill 
we see if shal have the good luck of retaking it. May I beg the favour of your 
Lordship to write a letter to Lord North in favour of William, and transmitt 
it to me, and I will cause a friend there Deliver it, in doing of which your Lord- 
ship will much favour both William and me. I beg to hear from your Lordship 
by the Bearer, and I have the honour to be. My Lord, your Lordship's most 
obedt. and humble servt., Patt. Duff.' (R.) 

In April 1784 William died at Barbadoes (unmarried), and his brother 
Peter or Patrick is mentioned in the Decennial List of Heirs as being 
hcir-at-Iaw both to him and to their father on July 20, 1785, Peter's death 
early in that year, apparently not having been yet reported from India. 
Administration of William's estate was granted to his brother-in-law, 
John Duff of Hatton, ' as lawful attorney,' for the use of his sisters Helen 
(John's wife) and Margaret (Mrs. Stewart). 

Of Patrick- not very much is known, save from two letters still existing 
at Hatton. From these it appears that he went out to India in 1769, 
when the other Patrick Duff (' Tiger ') of the East India Company's service 
returned to Bengal after his temporary suspension. 

The first letter is dated 

' Camp near Souhkn, Afar. 15, 1780. 
' My dear Father, — I have not received a letter from you this season, 
which makes me %ery imeasy, nor one from my grandmother nor any other 
person excepting Mr. Garden, Troup, and Delgaty, each of them one letter, 
Troup's enclosing one from a Mr. IMcPherson at Kensington to Mr. Hastings 
which I don't believe will be of any service to mc as he cannot forgive any 
adherent of General Clavering's. I was one, and though not the most powerful 

' Curajao. ' Called ' Potter ' iii the family letters, see page 239. 


of wliosc estate, value £1000, was granted in 1807 to Mrs. Jolin Duncan, 
liis only relative, was (lie other eliilil, and is by name mentioned in llie will. 

Admiral llobert Duff ol' Lo<j;ie, his <freat-iniele, tlu-n in the Mediter- 
ranean, had made interest lor Tetter' with General Coote, and otherwise 
helped him. 'Patter' seems to have had a keen eye to his own advantage, 
and to have been anxious to make money. He is known from the second 
letter at Ilatton (from John Grant, and chiefly conecrncd with money 
matters) to have gone ' up country in command of a battalion of sepoys 
in the first brigade ' in December 1781, and to have died or been killed 
early in the following year, as a commission of factory given to his brother- 
in-law, Mr. Stewart, minister of Auehterless in 1783, was produced and 
acted upon in 1785, and Helen Duff was served heir to both her brothers 
William and Patrick in 1786. 

Patrick Duff's name does not appear in the list of Indian cadets pub- 
lislied in this country, which proves him to have gone out as a volunteer, 
and probably to have waited for some years before being appointed Ensign. 
At that time the Bengal army was organised in three brigades, each con- 
sisting of one European regiment, several sepoy battalions, and some 
artillery. The sepoy battalions were usually commanded by captains. 

From papers at the India Office, the following facts as to Patrick 
Duff's services have been ascertained : 

In the Muster Roll of the first brigade, 1778, appears ' Patrick Duff, 
Lieutenant, age twenty-eight years. Corps — Sepoys. Ship in which 
arrived — Deptford.^ Native of Scotland.' 

He was probably appointed Brevet-Captain in this year, though 
he appears as Substantive Captain only in 1785, the year of his death. - 

His will is in the Registers at the India Office : 

' The Last ^Vill and Testament of Captain Patrick Duff, deed.. Filed and 
Probate granted to Lt.-Col. Patrick Duff, one of the Exors., reserving jjowcr, 
etc. : the 21st day of April 1785. 

' I, Captain Patrick Duff, in the service of the Honourable East India Com- 
pany, by these presents, make my later Will and Testament, as follows : 

' It is my will that the Estate of Whitehill, the lands and houses in and about 
the town of, and the farms and lands of Crovie, which fell to me on the decease 
of my Father,^ shall on my decease descend agreeable to the meaning and intent 
of my said Father, as is expressed in his Will. 

' rintlicr, it is my desire that all sums of money, debts and movables which 

' The Dcptford was a company's vessel wliich had started for India in February 1769. 

- In the Burgess Roll of Banlf for the year 1774 tlie names of both Major Patrick Duff and 
Captain Patrick Duff of the Honourable East India Company's service appear. In both 
cases the rank was Brevet. For Major Patrick Duff (' Tiger ') see chapter xxxi. 

' His father had died in 1783, and his elder brother in April 1784. 




sha.ll belong to mc, both in Great Britain and in India at the time ol my decease 
shall be disposed of as follows, after having first paid all my lawful debts. 

' First, I bequeath unto my housekeeper, Newajee, the sum of sieca rupees 
3000 ; secondly, unto my adopted son, commonly called Peter, sicca rupees 
2000, and the remainder in equal shares between my illegitimate son James, 
and the child with which my forcmentioned Housekeeper Newajee is now preg- 
nant, and that in case of the death of one of these, the survivor shall inherit 
the share of the other, and in case of the decease of both of them it is my will 
and desire that my second eldest sister, Margaret, spouse to the Rev. Mr. William 
Stewart, and the heirs of his body, do succeed to and inherit the shares of both. 

' And I do hereby apjioint the Rev. jMr. AVilliam Stewart, Lt.-Col. Patrick 
Duff, and Capt. John Grant exors. and trustees for my affairs in Europe, and I 
do further appoint Lt.-Cul. Patrick Duff, JMajor 'William Duncan, Captain Robert 
Baillie, and Captain Robert Lennard, Exors. of this my last Will and Testament, 
for the purpose of transacting my affairs in India, and to them I also recommend 
the care of the children before mentioned, and that they may be sent to Europe 
at what time they may judge proper. 

' In witness whereof I have subscribed and set my seal to these presents at 
Futtyghur, where no stamp paper can be had, this fourteenth day of January 
1785. PAxracK Duff.' ^ 

Helen, who married John Duff of Hatton and Drumblair, had sixteen 
children ; these will be found in the chapter on the Duffs of Hatton. She 
succeeded her father and grandfather in the estate of Whitehill.^ 

Although there were two Provosts of Banff of the name of Duff in the 
eighteenth century, it is difficult to identify the host of Chevalier John- 
stone.^ He gives the following account of his visit. A week after the date 
of the battle of Culloden, since when he had been in hiding with Sir William 
Gordon, Gordon of Cobairdy, and Gordon of Avochie, he went with Sir 

'■ General Sir Beauchamp Duff points out that tliis is the will of a man at the point of death, 
but no actual details as to the circumstances or day of his death, nor of his place of burial, 
are known. 

- There is among the papers in Mr. Edward G. Duff's possession a long letter, dated October 
7, I793> from Helen Duff, widow of John Duff of Hatton, to William Rose, factor for Lord Fife, 
complaining of the way her own and her ' dear departed son Sandy's affairs ' have been mis- 
managed, and the same Alexander's confidence in regard to his lawsuits with his aunt, Lady 
Anne, betrayed by George Robinson, brother-in-law to Rose, who had, on Rose's recommenda- 
tion, been employed as man of business to the family. In this letter Helen mentions the 
matter of a ' Submission betwixt my brother's children and me.' This must refer to Captain 
Peter or Patrick's sons and daughters, as William died in Barbadoes without issue. She also 
mentions that ' Mr. Stuart was there to take care of his own interest and the children's.' This 
is the Rev. WiUiam Stewart, minister of Auchterless, husband of her sister Margaret. She also 
mentions that her own son Patrick ' was bred a soldier and left the country at fourteen years 
of age, and was therefore unacquainted with business.' (Patrick succeeded to Hatton 1791.) 

' Memoirs of the lichcUioii, 1745, 1746, by the Chevalier de Johnstone, A.D.C. to Lord 
George Murray. 



William to pass the night ' at his castle of Park,' from whence he proceeded 
to IJanl'f to have an interview with his brother-in-law, I\Ir. Kollo : 

' I went straight to the honsc of Mr. Duff, provost of Banff, where I had been 
so agreeably entertained a short time before. He was a secret partisan of the 
Prince, but being prudent and discreet, he only avowed his principles to his 
particular friends. He was one of the most amiable men in the world, endowed 
with every possible good quality, and possessed of true merit. Mrs. Duff 
resembled her husband in everything, and their two daughters, the youngest of 
whom was a great beauty, were the exact copies of their father and mother. 
There was but one way of thinking in Mr. Duff's house, and I shall regret the loss 
of their delicious society as long as I live. Tlie servant who opened the door did 
not know me on account of my disguise' (It was that of a fai-m-labourer, the 
servant of Mr. Stewart, minister of Rothieniurehus, with whom on the previous 
day he had exchanged elotlies, and comments plaintively on the smell of those 
he had to wear.) ' Mr. Duff came downstairs and did not recognise me, any more 
than slie had done, but having fixed his eyes on me for some moments, his sur- 
prise was succeeded by a flood of tears. As I\Irs. Duff and her daughters were 
in bed, he conducted me to a room, and sent a message to my brother-in-law, 
who however could not be found. Early next morning, the servant-maid sud- 
denly entered my chamber and told me that I was undone, as the courtyard was 
filled with soldiers, come to seize me.* I flew to the window, when I saw in 
reality the soldiers which the maid had told me of and returned to my chair 
perfectly resigned, and considered myself as a man who was soon to end his days, 
keeping my eyes steadfastly fixed on the door, ready to spring on the soldiers 
like a lion the moment they should appear. IIa\'ii)g passed about a quarter of 
an hour in the most violent agitation, the door of my chamber at length opened, 
and I sprang forward with precipitation to the attack. But what was my 
surprise when, in place of the soldiers, I saw the beautiful and adorable jMiss Duff 
the younger, burst in, out of breath, to tell me, like another guardian angel, 
to be no longer uneasy, that the disturbance was oeeasioixcl by some soldiers 
fighting among themselves, who had entered into the court to elude the observa- 
tion of their officers. jMiss Duff the younger was very beautiful and only eigh- 
teen. I seized her in my arms, pressed her to my bosom and ga^•e her, with 
the best will in the world, a thousand tender kisses. 

' In an instant, the whole family were in my room to congratulate me on 
my happy deliverance, the noise of the soldiers having raised every person in 
the house, though it was hardly six o'clock. Fully convinced of the sincere 
friendship and esteem of this respectable family, my greatest uneasiness during 
this adventure was lest from their excessive anxiety for me, some of them 
should have innocently betrayed me. Mr. Duff was the only person on whose 
coolness and presence of mind I could fully rely. 

' The house with the courtyard still exists on tlie Banff Low Shore. There is no actual 
record as to whom it belonged ; it is now a tenement house. 




' My brother-in-law called on nic a few minutes after the alarm was over 
and made nic many protcsLatioiis ot frieiidslii]), but excused himselt from con- 
triljiiliiig in any manner Lo assist me in procininf,' a passa^^e to sonic forei^^n 
country, which as he knew all the masters of the trading ships in lianff he could 
easily have done, but he would not expose himself to the least risk for me. 
Having passed the whole daj' at IMr. Duff's, in as agreeable a manner as was 
compatible with the unfortunate situation in which I was placed, I took my 
final leave of that amiable family about nine o'clock in the evening, to return 
to the castle of Gordon of Park, and our tears at parting were reciprocal and 

Now, William Duff of Wliitehill, who was Provost of Banff from 1732- 
1733, and would therefore still have kept the title (' once Provost, always My 
Lord '), died in 1740, and his only daughter who lived to grow up, Bathia, 
had married, in 1738, John Gordon of Badenscoth. 

While William's son Patrick, who was afterwards Provost in 176'1-1767 
and 1773-1776 was only twenty-six at the date of Culloden, and the only 
daughter then born to him, Helen, afterwards Mrs. Duff of Hatton, was 
two years old. 

The Provost from 1744 to 1748, whose wife was Jean Duff of Craigston 
(married in 1720), was John Innes of Edingight. It was most jirobably 
in his house that the Chevalier Jolmstone stayed. In that family there 
were several daughters, of whom the youngest, Helen, died in 1806 ; or Jean 
may liave had some of her young half-sisters staying with her, some of 
Patrick of Craigston's second family of twenty-three children, of whom 
the younger ones would have been under twenty (Elizabeth and Mary, 
the two eldest daughters, were married before 1737, but the youngest 
son was born about 1725, or later) ; and the lovely Miss Duff about 
whom tlic Chevalier waxes so eloquent may therefore have been one of 
the unnamed younger daughters of Patrick of Craigston. 

The fourth son of Patrick Duff of Craigston was his namesake, Patrick 
or Peter Duff of Premnay, ' so called from an estate in the Garioch which 
he first purchased and afterwards sold, but retained the title. He served 
an apprenticeshij) to George Keith, advocate at Aberdeen (presumably of 
the same family as Keith of Bruxie with whom Dipple and Braco afterwards 
had so much litigation, as seen from their letters), at that time the most 
eminent man of his j^rofession in the north of Scotland. He was after- 
wards much employed by his uncle Dipple, and his cousin William Duff 
of Braco, in their business ' (Baird). 

He was appointed factor, or as it was then called ' doer,' to his cousin 
William of Braco, and would seem to have taken an unfair advantage of 
the position, for three years after his cousin's untimely death he married 



that cousin's only surviving child, Margaret, then aged eleven, as to 
which event he writes the letter given in chapter viii.' 

The greater part of William of JJraco's proi)erty went at his death to 
his uncle, William oi' Dipplc, as heir ot entail,'- IMargaret receiving £3000 as 
a bond of provision. ' But Premnay being advised that her father's 
entail was liable to several objections, served his lady heir of line to him, 
and got her infeft in every part of the estate ' (Baird), and they had to be 
bought out. In 1721, the year of her marriage, she also appears in the 
Decennial List of Heirs as heir to her father (who had died 1718), and 
her grandmother, who died that year. The estate of Eden belonged to 
Margaret, and only at her death passed to the descendants of her aunt Helen 
(married Gordon of Farskane), now represented by the Grant Duffs {q.v.). 

' Premnay acquired, soon after (in 1729), the estate of Sir Alexander 
Cumin of Cultcr, by buying in the debts ; and after that, most of the 
low country estate of Drum ; but both these families, especially the last, 
complain of a train of fraudulent and unfair steps taken by him in accom- 
plishing these purchases ' (Baird). 

Patrick died in 1703 at Cultcr, which he had made ' one of the most 
beautiful and best finished gentleman's seats in the North.' He left it to his 
half-brother. Admiral Robert, in whose family it remained until it was sold 
in 1908 by R. W. Duff of Fetteresso to Mr. Theodore Crombie of Aberdeen. 
The mansion-house has unfortunately since been burnt down, and rebuilt. 

Patrick is buried at Culter, and the following inscription adorns his grave: 

' To the memory of Patrick Duff of Cultcr, Esq. He was born Nov. 10, 
1692. He dyed Oct. 20, 17C3. lie examined Christianity, believed it firmly, 
and loved it warmly. From Christian princi])lcs, he practised social virtue ; in 
relieving distress and promoting useful arts he deligiitcd. The affection of his 
widow raises this monument.' ^ 

His widow married, on Christmas Day 17G8, Alexander Udny of Udny 
(he died 1789 at Culter), and was afterwards known as Mrs. Udny-Duff. 
She died 1793, aged eighty-three.* 

* From constant messages in letters to him from members of the family it would appear 
that his notable mother-in-law, who long survived him, dying at the age of over a hundred, 
lived with him during all his married life. Patrick and his wife had no children. 

' See chapter vii. 

' The obituary notice of Patrick Duff concludes by saying : ' We can with justice affirm 
that in no place was the man of law more usefully blended with the character of the country 
gentleman than in this worthy person." 

* In Peterculter church there are two silver goblets, bearing the Duff arms and motto with 
the monograms H. D. and M. U. D., presumably presented in memory of Helen and Margaret 
Duff, wife and daughter of William Duff of Braco. The plate marks show these cups to be 
of London manufacture and date 1809. (Aberdean Notes and Queries.) 

yjKTiRJCK: iDiTj-'r or culter 

./J,/ K/ J^^!. 


Of Patrick of Crai<fstou's claiiRhtcrs by liis first wife, only one is known 
to liave readied woiHunhood : .Jank, born in KJOG ; married, in 1720, Iicr 
cousin, John Inncs of Edingight, Provost of Baid'f, and died in 1778, aged 
eighty-two. He died in 1790. She had three sons and several daughters, 
of whom the youngest, Helen, died unmarried in 180G ; many descendants 
of Jane exist to-day. 

Among the Banffsliire sasines there is one, dated 1720, to Jean Duff, 
spouse to John Innes of Edingight, of two hundred merks yearly on the 
estate of Edingight. 

The baptism of Helen, Patrick's eldest daughter, is found in the Parish 
Registers of Grange, under date October 25, 1G91, but nothing more is 
known of her. 

Of Patrick of Craigston's daughters by the second wife, Mary Urquhart, 
five are known to us : 

1. Elizabeth, born 1702; married William Stuart of Auchorrachan, 
a younger son of Lesmurdy's, and her own cousin. 

2. Mauy, who married AVilliam Leslie i of Mclross (died 177G), and had 
one son, jMajor William Leslie, who became heir to his uncle, Adam Duff 
of Stocket. She died in 1773. 

3. Margaret, born 1720, died 1801 ; married Alexander Gordon of 
Gight.- She had nine sons and three daughters, and the eldest son, George, 
born 1741, who married Catherine Inncs, was the father of Catherine 
Gordon, married to Captain John Byron, and mother of the poet. 

4. A fourth daughter married to Davidson of Newton. 

5. A fifth daughter married Benjamin Duff, an Irishman, and was the 
great-grandmother of William Duff, minister of Grange (q.v.). 

The sons of Patrick's second marriage were James, Thomas, Archibald, 
Francis, Robert, Adam. 

James of Craigston, born about 1703, married Helen Abercromby of 
Glassaugh (contract of marriage dated June 22, 1732), and died in ]734. 

' William Leslie, Banff, writes thus to Patrick Duff of Premnay : 

' Sir, — I 'm very well pleasd to hear of our Broyr ffrances's good settlement, and I hope 
he will alwise have a grateful! sense of the service you and Capt. Urquhart have done him. As 
to what you write concerning Thos. portion the free stock to be divided after all deductions 
amounts to Nyne luind and twelve pound eighteen shilland four pennies Scots money w'' sum 
you know is presently lifercnted by the Lady Craigstown. It comes as youll see to ;fio. i8 Str. 
each share and a very small fraction more.' 

2 The death of Alexander Gordon is thus chronicled in tha Aberdeen Journal of January 24, 
1760 : ' We hear from Fyvie of the death of Alexander Gordon of Gight, much regretted. He 
was an honest, unoffensive gentleman, an affectionate husband, etc. He having frequently 
found benefit to his health by using the cold bath, had the misfortune to perish in the Waters 
of the Ythan while bathing, the water being suddenly swelled by melted snow." 

2 J- 

i:T ;. 


He had two daitglitcrs— Helen, born 1733, who married, in 1761, Dr. David 

Clerk, and had four sons, ol' whom the eldest was afterwards Huron Clerk 
Rattray, and married Jane, only daughter of Admiral Dnff of Fettercsso ; 
and Mauy, born 1731., died an infant. 

At James's death, Craigston, being entailed in the male line, passed to 
his brother Thomas, while Castleton remained the property of his daughter. 
Helen would also appear, at her father's death, to have legally represented 
her grandfather, Patrick Diilf of Craigston, as Thomas Dufl', her uncle, 
elaims from her ' the balanee of a sum of 4000 mcrks Seots contained in a 
bond of provision granted by the deceased Patrick Duff of Craigston to 
Thomas Duff, his lawful son, and to the other children of him the said 
Patrick, dated 29 Aug. 172G.' 

An inventory of the goods, etc., of James Duff shows that he died in 
the month of Jime 173J?, and was buried in Drum's lie in the church of 
Aberdeen. William Duff of Whitehill (his half-brotlier) Avas discerned 
executor and had charge of all his debts, etc. 

A sum was j)aid to ' Helen Abercrombie for her own aliment and the 
aliment of Helen and Mary Duffs her children, both then alive, and of two 
men servants, and two women servants, and one nurse, besides those who 
served in harvest, and besides those who were employed for labouring the 
Mains. A further item of £C3 Scots (£7, 10s. sterling) was paid to the said 
Helen Abercrombie for the expenses of the birth of Mary Duff, her pos- 
thumous child, and for the funeral expenses of the said child.' (Another 
of the Mary Duffs whose sojourn on this earth was sliort and sad. Sec 
chapter xxxii., note, page 501.) 

A further entry shows that the sum of £l28, 14s. Scots of money be- 
longing to James Duff was found in the said James Duff's ' Cloaeh bag 
after his death,' and Archibald Duff, who was by the said defunct in his 
sickness and at his death, accounted for the same to tiie executor. Archi- 
bald, it must be remembered, was afterwards a doctor, and is described 
in the will as ' Student of Physiek in Aberdeen.' There was a further sum 
allowed for the entertainment of the doctors. 

Thomas Duff was the second son of Patrick of Craigston's second mar- 
riage. In his own testament-dative, dated 1737, he is described as elder 
son of the second marriage, but that was after the death of his elder brother 
James. The edict of executry grants warrant to summon, warn, and charge 
Archibald, Francis, Robert, Adam, Elizabeth, Mary, and Margaret Duff, 
his brothers and sisters, and the husbands of Elizabeth and Mary as 
executors-dative and nearest of kin. Thomas was in possession of Craig- 
ston for a little over two years, but as ' neither he nor his brother James 
had owned it for three years, titles in their names were never made up.' 


Thomas died unmarried, and was succeeded in 1737 by his brother 

There arc several allusions to Thomas Dufi' in the letters of William, 
Lord Braco. He seems to have been drowned. The only other rcl'crcncc 
to him is in the following letter from his mother : 

Mary UrquhaH to Captain John Urquhart 

' My dearest Brother, — Yr kind oblidging Icter was sent me from Ilaton 
yesterday. Blessed be God that I have such a true frind as you ar that puts 
me on my geard to shun wluits wrong and dcrccts me to doe what right, good 
God enable nie to doe that which is riglit hi the sight of God and plcassing to 
my frinds pcrtieuhirly, for which is the sincer dcscr of my heart. Im much 
grived and ashamed at the great expenee I have put you too, tho you ar so 
gencrious as to forgiv itt. It ever I should truble you mor that way I would 
be wors then a brut. Dear brother Im much oblidgcd to Premna,' and would 
be glead if he would be so good as notice mc in yr abcsenee, only I most beg off 
you and him and all my frinds to leave an ear to the abesent and not to belivc 
all thats said. Pardon for God sale my \vriting to offer to you and tho I will 
not prcsum to writ to you again till you deser me yet if you would be so good as 
writ me the never so short a lin ether under Mcldrums cover or Premnas I would 
tak it as the greatest favour that eould be don me for yr Icters will be the wel- 
comest presents I enn i-eceivc, and if you doe not writ me it will be long or I know 
how you ar. My Dearest Brother, if Premna cause get for his Brother Thomas 
three hundred marks a year it will be an act off gieat frindsliipp and kindness 
and I hop Thomas will et)ntinow in the steat of liff he is in and never be so foolish 
as desire to go to law. I shall God willing give him the best advice I can for 
I would wish all my children to please ther frinds and much oblidgcd am I to 
you that minds them. Thomas wrot to you som tim agoe and I wrot seen affter 
to you to 1^111, but I was so seek that wick that they war not sent, I bless God 
1 'm better now, and while I live 111 ever continow with a heartfiill of sincer 
cxtecm. — My Dearest Brother, Yr most affectionatt sister and obedent oblidgcd 
humble servant, Mary Urquhart.' (D.) 

The third surviving son, Archibald, was born about 1714, as he is found 
as a student entering King's College, Aberdeen, in 172S, and the normal 
age at that period was fourteen. He was at Leyden University in 1736, 
and studied medicine both there and in Paris. 

' He was long in the service of the Swedish East India Company in 
Bengal ; from thence he went to Cochin China, of which kingdom it was 
said in Europe he was made a Mandarine. He sold Craigston to the late 
Captain John Urquhart of Cromarty, his uncle. He died in 1758 while 

' Her stepson Patrick. 


on i\ Iradinff voyage from Cocliin Cliinu to Batavia, in poor circuTiistanccs ' 
(HainI). JK- wrolc a liisLory ol' Cocliin Ciiina, said by IJainl Lo liavc l)ccn 
printed in London, Ijut there is no copy in the liritisli Mnseum. His 
voyages in the East would seem to have been adventurous, and both his 
early and later letters are among the most interesting in tlie Avhole of the 
family correspondence. 

Archibald Di(ff, Paris, to Captain Urqiihart, Ids uncle 

'Pahis, 27 Mnrch, N.s., 173G. 

' My dear Uncle,- — VVc received your kind letter ot the I'ith March from 
London yesterday, after I Iiad wrote you and Premnay fully, ancnt Francy and 
myself : AVc 're sorry Prcnuiay is offended that wc did not write him sooner ; 
it is not, I assure you for want of affection and Esteem, for considering his carriage 
towards us and the favoiu's he has done us it would be the higliL of Ingratitude 
and stupidity it we did not esteem and love him. I shall not clear us of careless- 
ness and Laziness ; however if I were to give you a journal, how one of our 
business thats to pass only six or seven months here ought to spend every day 
in order to improve as he may, you would see he would be sufficiently imployed : 
But thats not the reason, if one had a mind he could ay find time to write a letter : 
AVe were sensible it was our duty to write Prenmay a letter of thanks since its 
the only mark we 're in a condition to give, that we have a sense of the great 
kindness shewn us by that Family ; but we did not think if we did that the first 
time we wrote, that the circumstance of time made any odds. I3eeause we did 
not understand the Language the imperfect remarks wc could make in travel- 
ling to Paris were not worth the while. All the time we have been here, because 
we have not made it oin- business to go into Company or to see places as yet 
we don't know much of the People or many things worth taking notice off : 
We were not allowed to stand in need of anything, we wrote our Mother to write 
us of our friends. For the future we shall write our friends frequently and we 
begge to be cxcus'd for what 's past. . . . Wc hope you '11 be so kind as pardon us 
and that you '11 make an apology to Premnay for us the first time you have 
occasion to write him. Its very comfortable to us to hear of our Metlier and 
other friends weelfare. I have nothing to add but that I ever remain, with 
great affection and esteem, My Dear Uncle, Your very uuich obliged and most 
obedient humble servant, Aucuibald Duit.' (i>.) 

ArcJdbald Duff, Paris, to Patrick Duff of Premnarj 

Tahis, 28 March, n.s., 173G. 

' Affectionate Brother, — We were favour'd with your's of the 29th Nover. 

last from Edinburgh and in consequence of our Uncle's letter at that time to 

Mr. Alexr. my Broyr and I have each of us received the twenty Pound str. As 

Francy wrote you last week we will have finished our courses of surgery and 



iin;itomy in two or tlircc weeks iiciiec, and so will not iuivc oecasioti to stay licrc 
longer on liuit account. IJiit as I can now live here pretty clieap antl tlic 
Business my Uncle was so kind as pro[)ose lor ine, does not recjuire tliat I go 
immediately to Sweden, I belive it will be tliouj^ht proper for me to stay here 
some time after that. I 'm now in a good way of learning the French, and when 
its my principal business I shall be able to make a considerable progress in a short 
time. As for Francy, now lie has linished his education, he wants as soon as 
possible, to get business and beggs his friend's assistance and advice in what way 
to apply himself whither they think the Army, the Navy, a Merchant Ship, or 
to follow his business in any oyr way, wch they would advise liim to — he would 
chuse small business rather than wait. He intreats and depends on your advice 
and how he '11 dispose of himself in the meantime and that you '11 reccommend 
him to any of the Members of Parliament and any others of your acquaintance 
at London that can be of use to him and that, if j'ou think recommendations 
from any of the rest of his friends can be of use to him, you 'II be so good as pro- 
cure them. I think Mr. Bell a Chirurgeon at London got ships to two of the 
young lads that went from Abdn. last Spring, on Mr. Dyce's Recommendation. 
Dear Brother, your kind and affectionate carriage towards us hitherto incourages 
us to give you all this trouble. Our dear Father's Dcalh and then our Brother's,' 
were Dispensations of Providence very grevous and alUieling ; yet such has 
been the goodness of our surviving friends and brothers, I may say Fathers,^ 
tliat we have scarce as yet felt that great loss. Your kindness towards us all 
has been very great, particularly the Instance of it to our mother is ever most 
obliging, the great trouble you put yourself to and the expenee in serving us on 
our leaving Scotland ; the affectionate care you had of mc in my dangerous 
illness and the continued train of your kindness to us, we can make no recom- 
pence for any of them only our best wishes and thanks, which wc render you 
most heartily. Like\vise Ilatton : he has been very kind csjoecially I Ij'e under 
many obligations to his Family : and all the rest of our Brothers and Sisters 
have been all very kind. Wc design to write our Master under your cover what 
we have been doing when we have finished our Courses and therefore shall not 
trouble you with that at present, only in general I belive there is not such anoyr 
place in the world for Learning Anatomy and all the Branches of Surgery, 
Because the best way of remitting money is by Bills from London, please with 
your conveniency remitt £22 Str. of the money tliat should answer me at White- 
sunday and the £27. 0. lOJ that should answer Francy, in our Uncles absence ; 
to Mr. George Auchterlony to answer us as we have occasion to call for it. I 
belive Francy will have use for £32 Str. including the £12. 5. of his £50 before he 
leaves Paris, tlio' he leave it three weeks hence, so ther 's occasion for remitting 
his njoney that should answer him at Whitsunday to London immediately. I 
have not as yet taken any kind of cloathes here and so have a little of my money 
remaining, but will have occasion for more shortly and therefore have of this 
date wrote my Uncle to remitt me £17. 5. Str. the remainder of my £50. I 

• James. ' Archibald's four half-brothers were a great deal older than himself. 


bclivc it will do mucii to serve mc whilst I'm here. The reason that Francy 
needs more money than I, is his being very ill provided of necessaries when he 
left Scotland. We have not gone to sec many remarkable places us yet, and 
cannot form a Judgement of cither the people or place only in general the People 
seem to be very polite and easy in their cariage, only they use a Plaguey dale of 
useless Compliments. The common people make a great show of lleligion. 
I cannot tell if the better sort be less religious, but they seem to have a great 
dale less superstition. Wc saw a great many things both in our way to Paris 
and since wc came here that wc thought remarkable ; but I belivc considering 
we have seen but very little of our own country and know but little about it, 
together with our not speaking French would make them appear trifliing and not 
worth mentioning to anybody that knows better, and therefore I shall trouble 
you but with a few of them. At Rouen wc saw a fine house of salt scllars belong- 
ing to the King (there is nobod}'^ sells salt there but the King, and he sells it very 
dear). Churches are everywhere verj' numerous and magnificent : we like\vise 
saw several fine houses but not any country seats, except one, after we had 
pass'd Normandy, in the Isle of France, that wc thought comparable to Culter. 
In the beginning of Nov. they were just about as far advanc'd in their labring 
and the beir as long as it will be with us just now. They plough not half so deep 
as with us, but the furs arc nearer to one anoyr : their j^loughs are drawn by two 
horses only and go on wheels ; they differ in little else from ours, only the stilts 
are longer because in working the man who holds the plough goes with his back 
strait. Ther 's a great dale of wood all through the Country, mostly oak and 
fruit trees, very few Firs and what I saw were Pines. All their fire here is wood, 
except some coals that are imported from Britain that the smiths burn : they 
have mostly windmills : on two or three bridges over the Seine that we had 
occasion to cross wc saw two or three Watcrmills of a different fashion from 
ours. I cannot tell if there be any of them in Scotland, but because I think 
they would be uscfuU in some places where tlicrs big Rivers and scarcity of burns 
and convenient places for building our Mills, tiic first one I June occasion to sec 
again I shall write you a particular description of them. It apear'd to be a 
very simple engine, instead of having two wheels moving in a circle perjjendicular 
to the Ilorizon it has but one moving horizontally to the Needle that turns 
about the running Milstone for its axis. We begg you '1 excuse all this trouble 
and have nothing more to add at present, but our best wishes to you, your Lady, 
and the Lady Braco, to whom and the rest of our friends and Benefactors we 
begg to be kindly remembered when you have occasion to see them. I ever 
remain wh. great affection and esteem, My dear Brother, Your most oblidged and 
obedient humble Sort., Auchibald Duff. 

' P.S. — When you have occasion to see my kind old Master, Mr. Burnet or 
Mr. Rait, please make my compliments to them. If there were any thing here 
that wc could be of use to you in, it would be a very sensible pleasure to us to do 
it. We \vrote some time ago to our Mother to hear of our friends, and are con- 
scrncd we have not heard from her yet,' {D.) 

;i -^y^Ji n:: 


Archibald Duff, Lctjdcn, to Pnlrlck Duff of Prcmnay 

' Ij:yi>k.n, .)/« 10<A Odor. 1730. 
' My dear BROTirEU, — I wrote you last from Paris of ye IStli Auyt. I luive 
been attending the Colleges here now some weeks but have the prospcet of 
business soon ; and tho it is not worth any body's while to come to this place 
on purpose to hear the Professors only for a few weeks, yet as it is to fill up some 
vacant time, and having been att Paris, I '11 profitc by it considerably, and if 
after this I shall have an opportunity of returning here to study, my being here 
now will be a great advantage to me. My Unele wrott an exceeding kind letter 
in my favours to Jlr. Campbell, however soon he got notice of his being seen on 
this Coasts well I hope will succeed : he wrote the week before he left Paris 
and expects an answer now every post and tho' it should not be favourable he 
has so much Intrest and is such a kind hearty friend tliat he '11 soon get some oyr 
business for me tho' it is indeed difficult : there arc so many that have been dis- 
banded from tlic Fleet, oj'rs that have been voyages and at same time so many 
new ones (almost all Scots). I believe a Kirk is easier got than any tollerablo 
business in our way, at present. I hope ere long I shall be at greater distance 
from Abdn. than at present. Perhaps I 'm a very great fool that might have 
been geting in half a year or a year after this fifty and perhaps a hundred pounds 
a year and the most of my Patrimony remaining and been at my own case and 
in a capacity of doing perhaps a little good, but I 'm sure you would reckon me 
stupid or mad if, after leaving that and spending so much upon my Education, 
I should expose myself to certain hardships and eminent danger witliout en- 
deavouring to have it in my power, even supposing it may please God that no 
misfortune happens to me, to make myself a bit the better for it ; wch must 
certainly be the case if I carry adventure out wt money. Three pound a month 
(Surgeon's Pay) after taking on trust and consequently at the Druggest's price 
a Chist of Drnggs to furnisli the crew with and buying Instruments to be kcept 
off from the first end of ye day, is but poor business, or any oyr business that I 
can expect were it not for the advantage I '11 have C)f tradeing, wch is not worth 
a farthing to me if I have nothing to trade with. After I 'm fitted out I will not 
have much of my money left and tho' I had more I would incline to venter it 
as well as myself : I hope it will be of more service to me now than ever twice 
as much would be again. My Dear Brother, I hope when you know the circum- 
stances you '11 likewise think it reasonable. I 'm very sensible you would do 
nothing against my Intrest. I have experienced your kindness too much not 
to be intirely perswadcd of that. As I know but too little of the world and have 
but very little experience, I am sensible how lyable I am to commit mistakes 
and how much need I have of good advice and I hope and earnistly intrcat youll 
do me that vciy kind ofilce of letting me know my faults and favour mc with 
your good advice : and I sinserly promise you I shall endeavour to mend them 
and follow it. I heartily wish it were anyway in my power to show that I have 
a gratcfull sense of your favours. I am very happy of having the good fortune 



to be so much witli your friend my Uncle.' Such an opporLmiily in my opinion 
is the greatest liapjiiness and advantage lliaL a young hul can nueL with : and 
he is so good Inunour'd and kind as lo use mc with the afrecLiui\ of a parent and 
familiarity of a friend or 13royr. I heartily wish he were settled to liis liking in 
Abdnshire and I dont doubt but you '11 do what lies in your power to promote 
it and procure him an estate - that good and convenient, and as I know he has 
an intire friendship and very great esteem and regard for you I believe you '11 
ha\'c a good dale of influence with him. I the raliier wish he would settle 
amongst oiu* friends because I 'm sure he would not himself give in to a great 
many of our pernicious customs and I believe he would have influence upon 
several of his own relations to give them over likewise : perhaps oyrs seeing ye 
advantage of the method might imitate them : Besides I don't believe it would 
be disagreeable to himself and certainly a great satisfaetioii to all his friends, I 
heartily wish long life and all manner of Happiness to you all and ever remain 
wt the greatest love and esteem, My Dear Erother, Your very affectionate 
l?rother and much obligd obedient servant, Auciiiuald Duff. (D.) 

One letter is of much later date, from 

'Canton in China, 31s< Jiauiiiry l74j. 

' Patrick Duff of Premnay, Esqr. 

' Sir, — It gave me great satisfaction to receive your flavours by Mr. Elphin- 
ston ; when I found my Relations so free from being involved in their country's 
ruin.' I have taken money at Bottomry ■" One thousand thirty pounds Str. on 
the P^nglish China Ships, York and Lin, and have discounted 30 and 28 pr. ct. 
for my chance of their miscarrying, which God forbid ; and I have ordered 
George and Wilm. Catanach to pay it, so that I shall be in their debt if both 
these ships get home safe. Messrs. Pye and Cruiekshanks have laid so long out 
of their money, and please not to order any uf my money for any other Account ; 
except that my Mother or any other near delation may be in straits, and in 
that case please to relieve them on my account as the exigency of the case 
requires. I pray to be kindly remembered to your Lady, Lady IJracco and all 
my relations. I am sory for poor Adam's ill luck, if he is not at his case, for 
God's sake send him abroad. I shall write to him from Batavia anil to you like- 
wise at greatc length. In the mean time and alwise I ever am with exceeding 
great respect and esteem. My Dear Brother, You most affectionate Iholher and 
obliged humble Servt., AKCiiuiALD Duff.' (D.) 

Archibald Duff was at one time a rich man, as his affairs in the East 

» Captain Jolin Urquliart. 

« He subsequenlly bouglit Craigston from Arcliibald himself. 

' i.e. the Jacobite rising. 

« Bottomry, a contract by which a ship is pledged by the owner for the money necessary 
for repairs to enable her to complete her voyage. The debt is repayable only if the ship arrives 
at her destination. 

V[0T201 ! OP. 


prospered, and the lucky opjiortunity lie liad of curinp; the Emperor of 
Cochin Cliinu ol" a danKcrous nudady, which iuul dclied the local (nedieinc 
men and the Jesuit missionaries, went far to make his fortune ; ' but while 
in Canton his house and all his property was burnt, and he died, as has 
been said, quite ])oor. This will was made before he left Europe, and did 
not take effect : 

' I, Archibald Duff, lawful son to umqle Patrick Duff of Craigston being certain 
of Death and willing to settle my affairs to avoid disputes when it happens, I 
name Robert Duff my Broyr. german my Exor, and failing him by decease, I 
name Adam Duff my Broyr. my Exor. Item, I leave to the said Robert Duff 
ten thousand pound sects and to the sd. Adam Duff two thousand pound scots 
and In ease of ye death of ye sd. Robert I leave the sd. ten thousand pound left 
to him in that ease is to fall to the sd. Adam. Item, I leave the fourth of my 
residue of my effects to Capt. John Urquhart my Uncle to be by my mother and 
all ye remainder to be divided equally amongst ye sd. Adam and Robert Duffs, 
Mary, Margt. and Elizabeth Duffs my Sisters equally, and this I declare is my 
latter will. In Witncs quof written by Patrick Duff of Premnay I have sub- 
scribed this at Abd° tlic third day of November seventeen hundred and thirty- 
eight years before AVittncsses, James Black Mert. in Abd", and tiie sd. Pat. Duff 
and John Duncan his servant, Akchiuald Duik. (D.) 

' 3)-rf Feb. 17;3'J.' 

Fkaxcis Duff, son of Patrick Duff of Craigston, born aljout 1715, was 
also a doctor. In the year 1731 he bound himself as apprentice to Doctors 
John and James Gordon, physicians in Aberdeen, for the space of four 
years. In 1735 he appears to have decided to go to Paris with his brother 
Archibald to study, and got his discharge from Dr. James Gordon. In 
1738 he was living at Cape Coast Castle in Africa, and was factor for the 
Royal African Company there, as well as being a doctor. In the same year 
he went to Whydah in Guinea, where apparently he died. Two letters of 
his give a good idea of some of the difficulties he had to encounter. 

Fra7icis Duff to Patrick Duff of Premnay 

' London, 21.y/ Mai/ 1736. 
' Sir, — I shall be glad this find you, your Lady and Lady Braco in good 
health, to whom I wish all manner of liappiness. 

' I arrived here a foTU'thnight ago, but delayed writting you unlill such time 
as I could give you some account of what I now designe to follow, tlio' I can not 
say the footing on which I go is Iiitearly certain for Captain Renton with whom 
I sail is bound for Jamaien, T^it as he is not yet certain it he gets into the South 
Sea Company's Service T liave no pay allowed me from this to Jamaica, but have 

' See letter from Sir Jamci Kinloch, chapter viii. 





the Capts. proniiso, if his project talces. lo hnve tli(> same jiay olher sm-irens in 
lllc Company's ser\ ice have, oi' if I liiid iiny lolli rnlilc ciienMiii^rniiiil I hen-, I 
propose lo stay some time. 

' No dout youll be surprised at my Draus'lit on Brother Jolin. But as I had 
myself to jiut in Cloatlis and furnisli Inslruments and other neeessarys for my 
voyage Willi tlie small ad\eiiture of stockings* I carry \vt mc, I most own the 
small stock I had is now near exhausted. — Sir, I remain wh the greatest esteem, 
Your most obedient hiunble Servtt., Francis Duff.' (D.) 

Francis Duff, Whydah, to Patrick Buff, Prcmnay 

' AVii.uam's Fout, Whydah, Xov. 14, 1738. 

' Sir, — Having this opportunity of returning you my most hearty thanks 
for the iimumerablc favours I have already received from you wlien I am very 
sensible it was out of my power of reparing, I beg leave to offer my self a Peti- 
tioner to you for this last favour which I hope yowl be so good as grant, my 
unforseen necessities obliging me to it, but be assured that the former with this 
shall be faithfully remitted to George Auehterlony merchant in London in six 
months' lime. 

' My Delay betwixt Cape Coast and Whydah being so very long forces mc to 
trouble you in this manner. A Gentleman named Crabb and I, in our passage 
from Cape Coast to Whydah, in a thirteen hand canoe were taken by three large 
canoes belonging to Champo off Qujiah the 7 of Agust who striped us of all our 
necessaries and detained us jirisoners for ten weeks tlu'i'e days. Cliamj)o being 
then Defeated by the King of Dahome, the Dahomcs released us and carried us 
to their King, who behaved in a very civil manner to us, and sent us to Whydah, 
my not having so much as a shirt, stocking or shoe on my arrival at Whydah, 
or any necessary whatsomecver, but two cloths the King of Dahome give us to 
hid our naikedncss, forced mc to draw upon you for Sixty-one pound fifteen 
shillings payable in three weeks after sight. The King of Dahome promis's 
to {)ay us for all our things in two months wc lost which anioimls lo Uvo hundred 
and forty-six pound Stirling which I do assure you shall be remitted lo George 
Auehterlony for the repaing of you, I hope my necessities will make you take 
compassion upon me and now allow my Note of Hand to lay mipaid. In com- 
pliance wt this, j-ou will for ever infinitly oblige me. He to whom I lie Note of 
Iland becomes due being an Englishman and knowing Geo. Auehterlony makes 
me give the order upon him to whom I hope youl be so good as order to pay. 
My being v^ery much indispos'd after my long journey so far by land, hinders 
me from writing my Uncle and the rest of my relations, ]io])ing yow '1 be so 
good as write them. How soon I am indifferently \vd\, I shall write you more 
fully. I now beg leave to offer my most Diityful respects to you, your Lady 
and Lady Braco and all the rest of my relations. Wishing sincerly this may 
find them all in good health is the earnest desire of. Sir, your most obedient and 
most humble Servt., Fuaxcis Duff.' (D.) 

• Probnbly the woven stockings from Aberdeen, at lliat time a novelty in tlie norlli. 


The date of Francis' death is not known. 

The next surviving brother, Robert of Logie, founded a new branch of 
the family, and will be found in the next chapter. 

Tlie youngest son was Adam, born about 1725. He was a merchant, 
and baillie of Aberdeen, and subsequently Provost of that town. He 
apparently did business for the family, as there is a bill — Archibald Duff 
of Drummuir to Adam Duff in Aberdeen, 1753, for ' printed pa]iers @ 3/- 
a piece,' and ' entry and carriage of a large trunk ship'd aboard Captain 
Rlartiner for London,' receipted at Aberdeen 1754. 

In his later years he owned the proi)crty of Stocket, now part of 
Aberdeen, and took some interest in agriculture. He was also a freeholder 
of Morayshire. He arranged loans for Lord P'ife and managed the pro- 
vision for the admiral's children, the mutual nephews and niece of himself 
and Lord Fife. 

Lord Fife gave him a qualification to vote for Ludquharn in Buehan 
(for which apparently he jjaid), but in May 1791 he was struck off the roll, 
presumably on accepting some government onice. 

In the historical ]iapers of the New Spalding Club it is recorded, from 
the Aberdeen Burgh Records, 1745-1746, that when the town of Aberdeen 
was to be put in a jjosture of defence, Adam Duff, merchant, was appointed 
one of the twelve ensigns. He died unmarried in 1795, and left his money 
to his nephew, William Leslie of Jlelross. 

Provost Adam Duff of Stocket to the Earl of Fife 

'Jan. 12th, 17S9. 
' My Lord, — Mr. Osborn, Comptroller of the Customcs lierc died yesterday 
afternoon. I have taken the liberty to solicit your Lordships Interest for that 
office, I know several are applying to tlieir friends, Ijut if your Lo/ will be so good 
as to interest yourself for a relation that never likes to be troublesome to friends 
there 's little doubt of success. Sincerely wishing your Lordship the Compli- 
ments of the season, with many happy returns I have the honour to be with 
great respect and esteem your Lop. Most obcd' and much obliged humble servt., 

' Adam Duff.' » {R.) 

• William Duff in Turriff, who in 1747 married Isabel Urquhart in Banff, and had two 
daughters — Isabel, born 1748, and Sarah, born 1750, may have been another son of the 
second family of Craigston. No descendants of his arc known. These details are taken from 
the Registers. 



George of 

Alexander of Dru 

John of Culbin, W 


m. Helen Gordon of Park. 


Lachlan of Park, Al< 



James, Adam, Thomas, Andrew, Peter. 

From these sons probably many other 

descendants now living. 

Robert of 






Thomas Gordon 
of Park, 


Lachlan Duff of Drummuir 
and Park, 1817-1892. 



Thomas Duff 


Gordon Duff 


of Drummuir 


and Park, 





chap. -28. 





Gordon Duff, 


chap. Z5. 

Gordon Duff, 

1899. _ 

c/ki^j. ~-5. 

George in 







chap. Z8. 


DAVID DUFF, born circa 1375, m 

John Duff, his 

John Duff, Burgesa of Cullen. Charter 1440. 

John Duff. Charter 14S2. 


Andrew Duff, died 1515. 

John Duff. Sasino on Muldavit 1510. 

George DufI of JIulila 

Mr. John Duff, died 


died ins, 
ckap. 7. 

Helen, m. ■* 
of Fari 



1 • 

ITilliam Gordon, 

beeame Dun of EdeD. 




m. J. 

James C. Grant Dnff 

Artfccr Grant Ilaff, 

. H.R.H. The PrinceBs Re 


H.H. Alexandra, 

Duchess of Fife, 1891, 

m. H.R.H. Prince Arthu 

of Connaught, 

cliap, 15. 

Ladv J.anc, 


n. A, F. Taj le: 

Alislair K. Tavlcr. 
I. ih.yj. 17. 

Neill Adrian Mountftua 

Grant Duff. 1910, 

chap. SB. 

Ladv Anne, 


R. Wharton 

of Orton. 

John Roberl 

harton Duff, 1S71, 

chaji. 33. 

Benjamin Duff 

of Hemprisgs, 


George Cospatricl 

Dull Dunbar, 

ini)6, ^ 

chap. 16. 

Garden of Hatlon, 
)uisa Dunbar of Hempriggs. 

Garden E. Duff, 


chit^y. 16. 

Beauchamp Oswald 
Duff, ISSO, 
chap. 16. ' 



chap. 16. 



ehap. 16. 

r Charles G. 
art., 1851. 

Charles Duff, 




chap. 16. 

chap. 16. chap. 16. 

chip. 16.' 




chap. 16. 

Alex. Gordon 



Rolert \V. 


Duff of ■ 



chap. iO. 


John Duff, his son, alive in HW. 

DuS, Bnigess of Cnllen. Charter 14-)0. 

John Dufl. Charter 14S2. 


Andrew DnII, died 1515. 

ohn Duff. Sasine on Bluldavit 1510. 

Mr. John Dufl. died 1003. 

Jil DUFF OF CLUNYBEG. 1590-1674. 

Robert of 
1666- 1754. 

George, Arthur Adam of "Wooilcote, 

R.X., Abercromhy. 1800-1870. 

1764-1S05. 1797-1855. I 


Alei. Gordon 


?ir Robert 
o£ Fetteresso, 

Duff of 





chap. iO. 





rhap. SO 



1. J. Dingwa 

nee, in. first, J. Reid; 
:condly, Jos. Sterritt, 




m. Dr. Fvffe. 

Catherine Fvfle Duff 

of Cor-sindao, 


chap. SI. 

John of Culbin, 
3elen Gordon of Farli. 

boinas Gordon 

of Parlt, 
. 1790-1855. 

Alexander of Muirto 

iiinas Robert 

lorJon Duff, 


cKap. 16. 

Gcorgina H., 

. Francis Danvi 

chap. ?()'. 

Sir James 
of Cadiz, 

died 1815. 

:'aroline, 1874, 
. A. Waterfield, 

Sir Cosmo Edmund 

Duff Gordon, 

fifth Baronet, 1862. 

chap. ST. 



cAii;j. IS. 


chap. IS. 

George in 







chap. SS. 

2838 1 

.„., p IP 



1 v.ii tim ji 

:!i iili' 




:; i 

I ii 

-i piflBi 




;i iiti